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Old 08/08/10, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
Posts: 4,341
Anyone heard of the "Royal Empress Tree?"

Sounds like a really nice tree to shade a yard.

"Organic Farming, Many types of trees available. Come out to the farm you will be amazed with the beauty and grace of the Empress Tree. Most people do not beleive it until they see it for themselves.
Buy your Royal Empress Tree here, grown locally in San Antonio!

Grows up to 12 to 18 Feet in the first year and 10 to 18 every year after. Full growth in about 3 to 6 years up to 40 to 60 feet!

The Worlds Fastest Growing Tree!

Don't Spend 1000's to have a 20 to 60 foot trees installed on your property when you can plant a Royal empress tree prices 30.00 and up depending on size and have a nearly full grown shade tree in one season!

The Empress Tree is the fastest growing Shade tree in the world! That you can safely plant anytime of year I can show you how.
If you need shade trees on your property quick don't spend alot of money on 1 tree that grows slowly when you can spend a little on a coulpe of trees and have a yard full of shade the first year. "

The rest of the article. This is the Craigslist ad.

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Old 08/08/10, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 762
They do grow fast but

I can almost promise you that you will regret planting them. They will trash up your yard almost daily, produce hundreds of thousands of small seeds that come up every where. And there are those that say they are worth a fortune to the Japanise. They do buy them if they have 12 or more growth rings per inch, That aint going to happen. Stay away or come help me cut them down and pile up and burn. They do not even make usable fire wood. Just my opinion.
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Old 08/08/10, 12:24 PM
Darren's Avatar
Still an :censored:
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Back in the USSR
Posts: 13,911
The Paulownia tomentosa is everything Shadow said. They are classified as invasive. Even a small piece of the root will produce a tree. It also has a weird growth habit when young. The main stalk seems to die back.
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Old 08/08/10, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Idaho
Posts: 4,332
There was one right by the drive at a house my parents bought once. Oh, isn't it pretty? And then it began crying on their vehicles, tiny sticky drops of sap. Sprouts, dropped limbs, messes. They finally managed to kill it and all it's offspring.

And the others are right, nobody was even interested in the wood.
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Old 08/08/10, 12:46 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,092
I don't know if this was a western Oregon coast thing, but out here they have a very short life span. My grandparents planted two in their front yard, they grew like crazy, then at about 15 years the tops died. Grandpa cut the tops and they grew a couple new ones but then the bark started sloughing off and they had to come out. Probably about 25 years is all they lived. Now they've been gone (cut down and the stumps removed) for 4 years and they are still sending up babies all over the yard. Blah. Don't plant them.
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Old 08/08/10, 03:23 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: West Central Texas
Posts: 6,373
I have two I planted last year. They only grew about 6-7' since I couldn't water them enough (hadn't moved onto the property yet). So in March, according to the instructions, I cut them back to the ground and as they grew cut off all but one leader. They are now 16-18' tall and beginning to branch out. I needed shade quickly and plan on taking them down after the native trees I planted get larger. So far I love them. I know the seeds can be invasive, but I live in dry West Central Texas, and if any of them sprout, I'll be very surprised. They are considered trash trees, but so are fruitless mulberries, poplars and most ash. I would not plant these in East Texas where it is wetter, but they should do fine in Corpus without becoming invasive. And they are pretty trees.

As to sap dripping -- I haven't noticed that at all, but I assure you they are not as messy as pecan trees.
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Old 08/08/10, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: East TN
Posts: 6,977
A close cousin to kudzu. They are a non native invasive species.
"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self confidence"
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Old 08/09/10, 03:20 AM
In Remembrance
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,844
I recall reading somewhere some of the large lumber producers were trying them plantation style. When harvested they would be chipped and used in particle board and such. Problem is, as noted above, off the stump will grow a multiple of sprigs. But then native American Chestnuts did the same. However, even if trimmed down to a single sprig the sprigs die out after a couple of years.

Off subject, but is anyone current on bringing back a blight-resistent Native American chestnut.

And in Longfellow's poem about The Village Blacksmith it turned out to be an European Horse Chestnut. It was eventually cut down to widen the road and children started a fund to have a chair made from some of the wood for him. I don't remember the name but Longfellow wrote another poem for children as a result. I had to memorize The Village Blacksmith in about the fourth grade, but can only remember pieces of it now.
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Old 08/09/10, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western NC
Posts: 687
Ken - I heard that there was a stand of Native Chestnut trees in the Smokey National Park. We were there last spring and I asked a ranger who told me he didn't know what I was talking about. They was not a tree in the park. Not that this helps, but just passing on info
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Old 08/09/10, 12:30 PM
In Remembrance
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,844
We have one in the county which tree experts can't decide if it is a American Chestnut or European Horse Chestnut.

At one time when chestnut was plentiful they were used for fencing. Slabs would be off off blanks. A wire would be strung from tree to tree up in the woods and the slabs stapled to this wire. Kept livestock out of woods and yet let water and debris flow under the slabs.
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Old 08/09/10, 01:09 PM
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Location: Blue Ridge Mts, VA
Posts: 177
We call the paulonia a pernicious weed, right up there with japanese knotweed.

Cut it down, it thanks you for the pruning.
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Old 08/09/10, 03:00 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
Posts: 4,341
Thanks for everyones response. I thought those things sounded too good to be true.
Thanks again.

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Old 08/09/10, 03:08 PM
In Remembrance
Join Date: May 2002
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I recall seeing a report this tree has established itself in the Everglades and, like the python, disrupting native species.
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Old 08/09/10, 03:41 PM
aka avdpas77
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: central Missouri
Posts: 3,432
Originally Posted by Ken Scharabok View Post

Off subject, but is anyone current on bringing back a blight-resistent Native American chestnut.
Back when the blight first invaded this country, the USDA/Forest Service gathered seed from may places that the disease hadn't moved to yet. The blight was wiping out entire forests of old growth chestnut, and the belief was, that the disease would eradicate the chestnut entirely with in a few years, and then the disease itself would die out for lack of a host. The thought was that after waiting a sufficient time, they would be able to plant the seed and establish the chestnut again. As it turns out, there were a number of trees that had some resistance when they were young. About the time they start producing nuts, the blight usually gets them, and they die back, but re-sprout form the trunk (old growth trees were completely killed by the disease)

Because of this, the trees never actually died out completely, and neither did the disease. I do not know if there is any present work in this direction. The trouble with selective breeding, is that the disease will get the trees about the time they start bearing nuts, so they never get much of a crop. I imagine one could Google and find out more.
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Old 08/09/10, 05:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Southern Alberta
Posts: 284
I bought some Paulownia seeds off Ebay, I was interested to see how they will do here in Canada, since they are a more temperate tree. I think if they survive the winter (they didn't even sprout yet) then they would probably die back and regrow a few times, but not thriving well enough to become invasive. Thought it would be cool to just try it, maybe for a quick windbreak.
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Old 08/09/10, 06:19 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Alabama
Posts: 20
Not to hijack the thread but in response to the American chestnut question, my father has been working very hard for the last 18- 20 years on these trees. He is from WVA and when he moved he took some nuts and small trees from their place that had lived through the blight. He has been trying to get them to grow in the west Ga area and has had success. Parent trees are going strong and the resulting offspring are also doing well. It is a hobby for him but so far so good. I'm going to try and get some of the offspring and see if they will grow in Bama where I live. I hope so. Maybe there is hope for these great trees.
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Old 08/09/10, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 1,758
How do I say this? This tree has a problem of growing to fast? It grows fast but not in a good way. This tree has a problem of having shallow root growth, to the size of the tree and then a problem with limbs that break and fall to ground in a mild wind storm. I live in Oregon and this was suppose to be the next great tree. Well it isn't, Six years ago we had a Four test farms. None of them are growing these trees anymore.

Last edited by airotciv; 08/09/10 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 08/09/10, 06:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,512
Around here they classed as invasive at the highest level. One of the only things they will let you go medieval on in the protected zones. They also fly all over the place in high winds and go through houses since they don't root well.
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Old 08/09/10, 06:48 PM
Fae Fae is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Lower Alabama
Posts: 2,230
My neighbor planted one and it is messy and ugly. I don't know much more than that about it except I would not plant one. Around here our biggest invasive tree is the Chinese Tallow Tree. Everyone calls them popcorn trees. They are pretty but grow even faster than the royal empress tree.
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Old 08/09/10, 06:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: South East Iowa
Posts: 437
Here in southeast Iowa I fight the black locust trees. They are almost impossible to kill and if you do kill that one it sprouts up again 3 feet away. I have ringed them and sprayed the freshly cut ring with Tordon. Still they come back. They make great firewood though and split nicely.
We have now officially entered the twilight zone.
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