It has become a perennial question

Do you have an Empress tree? Do you have a Paulownia? Do you have a Sapphire Dragon tree? NO, NO and NO!!! We don’t, we won’t, not now, not ever and here is why.

  1. This tree has weak limbs and is brittle.
  2. It must be trimmed every year, all the way to the top.
  3. If it is not trimmed every year, it will not look like it does in the ads.
  4. If it is not trimmed properly, it will suffer from die back.
  5. If there is a late frost, the buds and flowers can get frozen off.
  6. When this tree is mature (6 to 10 years) it will make between 2 million and 20 million seeds.
  7. No animal or bird eats these seeds as part of their diet.
  8. All of these seeds are viable (capable of sprouting).
  9. The seeds will sprout everywhere in your lawn, your flower beds, your gutters, get the idea here?
  10. It grows very well in poor soils, like burned land, road sides and ditches.
  11. When the seeds get washed into the bayous, they will sprout, possibly causing flooding.
  12. It is considered to be a noxious weed and is banned in Connecticut (which is not the best place to grow them).
  13. It has very shallow roots that can buckle walks, driveways, roads and potentially a house slab.
  14. It has a  shallow root system making for a mowing nightmare.
  15. The shallow roots will sprout suckers (a new tree)…lots of suckers.
  16. If you cut it down, it will resprout…everywhere…
  17. Your neighbors will have new trees popping up in their yards.
  18. Your neighbors will curse you and your descendents.

Although this tree has MAJOR issues for the average home owner, it is not all bad. Paulownia is a great renewable source for a fine-grained, hard wood, used in the making of  furniture, since it grows quickly. However, it takes a great deal of management to get it to this point. Our firm recommendation, is to avoid this tree completely. If you need a fast growing tree look at our San Felipe Red Maple, Sawtooth Oak or Chinese Elm.