About Empress Trees
The Paulownia, also known as the Empress tree or Royal Empress tree, is a fast growing tree that’s native to east Asia. The tree, with beautiful, fragrant tubular, lavender colored flowers that appear in early spring before its leaves, grows 33 to 82 feet tall, with a 50 foot wide canopy. Its large leaves are heart-shaped or come with three to five lobes. They can be up to nearly two feet across, especially on young Royal Empress trees. The lower parts of the leaf are hairy, as are the stems. This gives the tree the botanical name of tomentosa. The leaves remind some people of the leaves of the catalpa. The bark is furrowed and the fruit is ovoid, about an inch and a half long and full of tiny, soft seeds. Millions of seeds can be produced by a single tree. These seeds are spread by wind and water, which is why the tree has been so successful as a transplant. The trees also propagate from the roots.
The Paulownia is not fussy about the soil it grows in and well tolerates acidic and poor soils. The tree is also drought tolerant and will quickly populate areas that have been burned, disturbed by natural disasters like landslides or man made disasters like bulldozing. The Empress tree can also grow in areas that have been defoliated, and it’s not unusual to find this hardy tree clinging to a rocky cliff or the thriving at the edge of a river.Because it can tolerate many types of soil, the Paulownia can be planted just about anywhere in a garden. However, it won’t flourish if it’s planted in the shade. The tree is also good for a butterfly garden, as several species of caterpillar use it as a host plant.
Royal Empress Trees can grow in Hardiness Zones 4 to 10. A young tree can grow as much as eight to ten feet a year. Some young trees have been known to grow as much as 20 feet a year.The tree was formally brought from China to America as an ornamental tree in the 1840s to beautify urban landscapes.Royal empress trees aren’t just grown for their beauty. Their wood, which is a beautiful grayish silver, is also prized. People use the wood to make boxes and chests, including marriage chests. In some Asian cultures, the tree was planted at the birth of a girl, then turned into wedding furniture when she got married. The wood of the trees are also used to make surfboards, skis and the bodies of electric guitar.
Because the tree grows so quickly, it can be harvested when it’s young and has the ability to grow back from its roots. The wood is also used for veneers.
Flowering Dogwood Trees
Tar heels or North Carolinians already are familiar with flowering Dogwood trees, after all Dogwoods are North Carolina’s state flower and the flowering Dogwood tree happens to be the state tree of Missouri. Virginia loves dogwoods so much; it decided to make the flowering Dogwood tree as the state tree and the Dogwood flower as the state flower. The rest of the southern states can also enjoy these beautiful trees. But the southern states are not the only places that get to enjoy these beautiful trees, flowering Dogwood trees can also be found in Southeast Asia and northern Europe.
There are many benefits to having a flowering Dogwood tree. For example, you can grow a flowering Dogwood tree from seed or by taking a branch and placing it in most soil. Flowering Dogwood trees are also able to grow in a variety of soils and are resistant to many pests as well as diseases, making these trees one of most worry free trees on the market today. Another great benefit of buying one of these trees is that you can choose from a pink, white, red or kousa dogwood.
The white flowering dogwood tree grows in what is called zones 5 - 9. The zones are a way of separating the country based on the temperature. Starting below the Canadian border each zone starting at zone 2 is separated by 10°F and is considered the zones of hardiness or simply a zone plus a number and indicates whether a plant or tree can withstand the harshest weather conditions of the area. White dogwoods can grow up to 25 feet in height and as wide as 25 feet, having a rounded shape when being seen from a distance. Although these trees need full sun to grow, white dogwoods can grow in various types of soil including acidic, loamy, and clay soils. As the name suggests the flowers of the white Dogwood is white blooming during the months of April thru May. These trees also have gorgeous dark green oval leaves, which turn reddish purple in the fall and red fruit that are eaten by a variety of animals. Animals also are also known to eat the twigs and bark of the tree. The leaves of the white dogwood tree can be used as a tea and the wood is used to make a variety of items including handles, golf club heads, and yokes.
Pink flowering Dogwood trees grows between zones 5 - 8, in soil that is acidic, moist, and well drained. The height and width of the pink dogwood tree can be between 15 and 25 feet displaying a dazzling pink flower, that blooms between April and May. The biscuit shaped flowers becomes a spectacular new element each year because it becomes a little darker ensuring that every spring you feel like you have a brand new tree. But spring is not the only time you will marvel at the beauty of the pink dogwoods; during fall, the cinnamon colored bark along with the fiery red leaves makes your tree the talk of the neighborhood. Just like the white flowering dogwood, the pink dogwood has dark green oval leaves and red fruit that grows year round providing food for an assortment of birds.
The red flowering Dogwood trees otherwise known as the Chief Cherokee, like other flowering Dogwood trees grows in zones 5 - 8 and a small part of zone 9. Red dogwoods grow between 20 to 25 feet with a width of 12 to 15 feet. They have flowers that can either be pink or red, which bloom in the spring. In the spring, leaves on the red Dogwood are reddish-bronze turning a bright crimson in the fall. Red Dogwood trees are the best of all of the flowering Dogwoods because they can be planted in almost any type of soil, they can grow in full sun or in partially shaded areas and are even mildew resistant, making it the perfect tree for novice tree growers.
Kousa Dogwoods originated in Asia and is also known as the Chinese or Japanese Dogwood. Kousa flowering Dogwoods grows in zones 5 - 8. Unlike the other Dogwoods, Kousas are vase-shape and grows blooms between May and June. Growing between 15’ - 25' and a width of 25’, the Kousa Dogwood have the advantage of having shallow roots that is perfect for planting near homes with fear of foundation damage. They are also resistant to several pests and diseases. With white flowers and dark green leaves that turn purple and scarlet in the fall, Kousa dogwoods are showpieces for the yard. Kousas also produce a red fruit that not only attracts birds and squirrels, but a variety of bees and butterflies. And best of all unlike the other flowering Dogwood trees fruit; we can eat the fruit as well making the Kousa flowering Dogwood a must in the yard. Crepe Myrtles are also a good choice for landscapes.