A Gardening Journal

The Best Season Ever: The Empress Tree in Leaf

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The gold Scots elm at the center of the north end of the knot garden has big company to the right.  The empress tree's immense velvety leaves and startlingly fast rate of growth provide quick and unusual screening in Summer and Fall.  In the picture below, you can just see the top of the tree's short trunk, from which ten-foot shoots of annual growth emerged. 

 

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Paulownia tomentosa also produces shoots directly from the roots.  Look more closely and you'll see one to the left of the trunk; it was so vigorous that it soared as high as the tree itself.

 

Like the elm, the empress is dramatically bare in the Winter, with claw-like branches that are sawn back to nubs anytime before Spring.  Also like the elm, the empress can be pollarded any time in Winter or early Spring that the gardener gets the whim.  For now, I'm thinking later in March.

 

Here's how to grow empress tree.

 

 
 
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