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Old 09-03-2017, 08:08 AM
 
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Anyone try one out? Mine has grown 15ft in 8 months time since i got it.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:11 AM
 
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the paulownias (there are several species of what are known as "empress" or "foxglove" trees) are generally all fast growers. a major concern is that in the right kind of climate (warm wet summers) some of them may invasively naturalize and become a "weed". they do have beautiful flowers and often impressive sized foliage and combined with the rapid growth may in certain circumstances be "instant trees" for the landscape . in parts of the world like it's native Asia and in parts of the American south various species are planted in plantations for wood production and may be a "cash crop". besides the potential for becoming invasive, the fast growth may produce rather brittle branches that can break in high winds, and the tree may not be winter hardy in colder areas. FWIW, my experience growing p. fortunei (a species with white flowers) is that the big leaves create lots of litter in the fall (no fall color) but they decompose VERY rapidly on the ground----totally gone in 4-6 weeks---we rake them up around the trunk of the tree so that any nutrients in the leaves go back in the ground to become an on-site source of "recycled" nutrients for the tree.


the trees can be cut back every few years to produce really big leaves (no flowers) from the stump which can be even more striking "tropical" looking foliage than the regular type.

Last edited by georgeinbandonoregon; 09-07-2017 at 12:40 AM..
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:03 AM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
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Originally Posted by georgeinbandonoregon View Post
the paulownias (there are several species of what are known as "empress" or "foxglove" trees) are generally all fast growers. a major concern is that in the right kind of climate (warm wet summers) some of them may invasively naturalize and become a "weed". they do have beautiful flowers and often impressive sized foliage and combined with the rapid growth may in certain circumstances be "instant trees" for the landscape . in parts of the world like it's native Asia and in parts of the American south various species are planted in plantations for wood production and may be a "cash crop". besides the potential for becoming invasive, the fast growth may produce rather brittle branches that can break in high winds, and the tree may not be winter hardy in colder areas. FWIW, my experience growing p. fortunei (a species with white flowers) is that the big leaves create lots of litter in the fall (no fall color) but they decompose VERY rapidly on the ground----totally gone in 4-6 weeks---we rake them up around the trunk of the tree so that any nutrients in the leaves go back in the ground to become an on-site source of "recycled" nutrients for the tree.


the trees can be cut back every few years to produce really big leaves (no flowers) from the stump which can be even more striking "tropical" looking foliage than the regular type.

Good information.

That's an intriguing idea about cutting them back to stumps to produce bigger leaves. I'd have never thought of doing that but of course it makes sense that the stumps would produce extra large leaves and it's probably quite thickly foliaged so it's going to look like a big chunky bush.


.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
Good information.

That's an intriguing idea about cutting them back to stumps to produce bigger leaves. I'd have never thought of doing that but of course it makes sense that the stumps would produce extra large leaves and it's probably quite thickly foliaged so it's going to look like a big chunky bush.


.

hi Zoisite. thanks for the rep. believe it or not, some gardeners never ever allow the tree to ever grow "normally" but instead cut it back every couple of years ("stooling") to perpetuate the really big leaves. for those folks who fear seed production and possible unwanted seedlings this may be a way to have the plant and enjoy the super rapid growth and those huge leaves without the other potential problems of the tree. FWIW, some folks have done the same thing with "tree of heaven"/Ailanthus to create a cluster of tall, lush feathery leaves---"like some ferocious fern" as someone once observed, LOL.

Last edited by georgeinbandonoregon; 09-08-2017 at 01:59 PM..
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Old 09-28-2017, 07:15 AM
 
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Mine has dropped all the leaves in Aug. Kinda early it seems to be bare.
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Old 09-28-2017, 07:59 PM
 
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Mine has dropped all the leaves in Aug. Kinda early it seems to be bare.
IMHO, that is definitely not normal for the tree (my tree usually goes completely deciduous by mid to late November). your tree may be suffering from drought. these plants (especially young newly-planted ones) need LOTS of water (especially in dry summer climates like much of western North America) and may either drop leaves early, have new shoots shrivel and die, or even the tree die completely if they don't get adequate irrigation or precipitation. most all the paulownia species come from summer wet/monsoonal climates in central and south Asia including Japan and Taiwan and are not very "xeric"/drought resistant plants. OTOH, even in wet summer climates or with apparently adequate irrigation plants can still suffer from drought stress if the soil is very shallow or sandy, of if planted on a slope---such conditions cause the soil to retain less water and thus dry out more quickly than more normal soils.


my suggestion is to check the soil around the tree---especially the area right around the base of the trunk----if it's really dry more than a couple of inches down then drought is probably a problem. you can also lightly scratch the branches and the trunk of your tree---if you can see green under the bark the plant is still alive if you see colors like brown, tan, or black that section of the plant is likely dead. BTW, if you find the soil very wet rather than dry then the problem may be from poorly drained wet soil which can harm the roots and potentially also kill the tree.


another potential problem is the use of herbicides including some "weed and feed" lawn fertilizers near the tree---improperly applies this could at least temporarily harm the plant (defoliation may be a symptom in such cases).


even if the above-ground portions of the tree appears dead there is a reasonable chance that the plant will come back as it is usually a strong re-sprouter if the top is damaged or killed IF the roots and base of the plant are still alive.


hope this helps. good luck with your tree.

Last edited by georgeinbandonoregon; 09-28-2017 at 09:24 PM..
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by georgeinbandonoregon View Post
IMHO, that is definitely not normal for the tree (my tree usually goes completely deciduous by mid to late November). your tree may be suffering from drought. these plants (especially young newly-planted ones) need LOTS of water (especially in dry summer climates like much of western North America) and may either drop leaves early, have new shoots shrivel and die, or even the tree die completely if they don't get adequate irrigation or precipitation. most all the paulownia species come from summer wet/monsoonal climates in central and south Asia including Japan and Taiwan and are not very "xeric"/drought resistant plants. OTOH, even in wet summer climates or with apparently adequate irrigation plants can still suffer from drought stress if the soil is very shallow or sandy, of if planted on a slope---such conditions cause the soil to retain less water and thus dry out more quickly than more normal soils.


my suggestion is to check the soil around the tree---especially the area right around the base of the trunk----if it's really dry more than a couple of inches down then drought is probably a problem. you can also lightly scratch the branches and the trunk of your tree---if you can see green under the bark the plant is still alive if you see colors like brown, tan, or black that section of the plant is likely dead. BTW, if you find the soil very wet rather than dry then the problem may be from poorly drained wet soil which can harm the roots and potentially also kill the tree.


another potential problem is the use of herbicides including some "weed and feed" lawn fertilizers near the tree---improperly applies this could at least temporarily harm the plant (defoliation may be a symptom in such cases).


even if the above-ground portions of the tree appears dead there is a reasonable chance that the plant will come back as it is usually a strong re-sprouter if the top is damaged or killed IF the roots and base of the plant are still alive.


hope this helps. good luck with your tree.
I have had 25" of rain since Aug 1st. It came out with the seed pods and then all the leaves dropped.
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Old 09-29-2017, 09:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LKJ1988 View Post
I have had 25" of rain since Aug 1st. It came out with the seed pods and then all the leaves dropped.

so apparently (lack of) water is not the problem---UNLESS you have poor drainage with long periods of standing water due to EXCESSIVE amounts of rain possibly combined with heavy clay type soils being over-saturated which can lead to root rots and other stresses on the plant especially under conditions of warm and wet soil---- (way) too much water in such conditions being potentially just as harmful to the plant as too little water ("drowning" rather than "dying of thirst" as it were. just like with drought stress, too much water can also lead to defoliation, branch or stem die-back or even death of the affected tree (though again even a dead paulownia can come back from the base of the plant next spring sometimes).


to put the rain amounts in perspective 25" of rain in one month is almost HALF of our yearly total average rainfall in my area on the (supposedly) sodden Oregon coast.


again, the "scratch test" to see if the under bark is still green and (hopefully) healthy may give you good info to determine the continuing viability of your plant.


good luck.

Last edited by georgeinbandonoregon; 09-29-2017 at 10:14 AM..
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by georgeinbandonoregon View Post
so apparently (lack of) water is not the problem---UNLESS you have poor drainage with long periods of standing water due to EXCESSIVE amounts of rain possibly combined with heavy clay type soils being over-saturated which can lead to root rots and other stresses on the plant especially under conditions of warm and wet soil---- (way) too much water in such conditions being potentially just as harmful to the plant as too little water ("drowning" rather than "dying of thirst" as it were. just like with drought stress, too much water can also lead to defoliation, branch or stem die-back or even death of the affected tree (though again even a dead paulownia can come back from the base of the plant next spring sometimes).


to put the rain amounts in perspective 25" of rain in one month is almost HALF of our yearly total average rainfall in my area on the (supposedly) sodden Oregon coast.


again, the "scratch test" to see if the under bark is still green and (hopefully) healthy may give you good info to determine the continuing viability of your plant.


good luck.
It can rain 10" here and the dust i call it is bone dry 3 days later. I am right on the gulf just northwest of Tampa FL. Tree is not dead. Just went bare fast just before the hurricane. Had a super dry July with only 3" of rain and boom 15.5" in Aug and over 10" in Sept so far. No clay soil here. Just worthless sand and solid limestone less than 1.5 foot down. I can pull on the seed pods and nothing is dry or dead. It just started to go bare in July from the bottom up. I got it last Jan and planted it in March and it took off to 15 ft.
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Old 09-29-2017, 07:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LKJ1988 View Post
It can rain 10" here and the dust i call it is bone dry 3 days later. I am right on the gulf just northwest of Tampa FL. Tree is not dead. Just went bare fast just before the hurricane. Had a super dry July with only 3" of rain and boom 15.5" in Aug and over 10" in Sept so far. No clay soil here. Just worthless sand and solid limestone less than 1.5 foot down. I can pull on the seed pods and nothing is dry or dead. It just started to go bare in July from the bottom up. I got it last Jan and planted it in March and it took off to 15 ft.
whatever is the cause (and potentially relevant details about actual growing conditions for your tree seem to have come in dribs and drabs during this thread) the plant does not seem to be behaving "normally". your problem may be that the tree is not well adapted to your area and is indeed kind of stressed by your climatic and soil conditions (it generally prefers a rich deep soil for best performance though it can do with less than ideal situations including my rather sandy (loam), nutrient poor, seasonally dry (little or no summer rain for over 3 months but luckily no high heat at the same time) soil.


FWIW, the "southern living garden book" doesn't recommend this species for the "tropical south" which includes Tampa in their map likely because of climatic concerns. in fact as far as they are concerned right, wrong, or indifferently the tree is not supposed to be a good grower in most all of Florida. that said, plants don't read books, LOL and in fact can be more adaptable to diverse and seemingly hostile growing conditions than the "experts" might believe. BUT assuming that the plants can survive in the first place they may indeed behave differently if they are planted under different growing conditions (nominally evergreen trees may become at least semi-deciduous under cool winter conditions and normally deciduous trees can become semi-evergreen in a warm winter climate for example). I have a number of Mexican oak species that are supposedly deciduous in their native habitat but are completely evergreen under my conditions so such differences from the "normal" can and do happen.


hopefully whatever reasons are causing defoliation your tree will get back into the swing of things sooner or later.


BTW, how did it flower before it decided to defoliate? for the record my tree which is a different species of paulownia flowers but never fruits.

Last edited by georgeinbandonoregon; 09-29-2017 at 09:00 PM..
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