Fastest Growing Shade Tree! For centuries, the Chinese have grown Paulownia, also known as Empress and Sapphire trees for beauty and for highly-prized timber. Paulownia is a fast-growing shade tree that produces a lightweight timber that is used in the making of moldings, cabinets, veneers, furniture and even musical instruments.
In Japan when a girl child is born, they plant a Paulownia tree for her and when she marries they build her wedding chest from the tree. They also believe that the tree should be planted next to the house so that the Phoenix would come protect them and bring good luck.
Trees will not do well in overly wet soils or salt sea air. Root system: Multiple tap roots - 15 to 20 feet deep. The tree is broadly columnar with thick shoots. Fragrant flowers, 4 inches long, are pale purple outside and creamy white with purple spots inside. This fast growing tree is known for its showy flowers and large, ornamental leaves. Fragrant lavender, bell to trumpet shaped flowers are borne in large upright panicles as leaves emerge. Leaves are light green and hairy, to 1 foot long.
Paulownia trees may be grown in colder climates, but the tree will die back to the ground every winter. If it dies back every winter it will never reach mature blooming size, but it will still add interesting foliage to your yard or garden for the summer. Mulch roots heavily with straw or leaves in fall in climates that get below 15 degrees F (10 degrees C).
Genus - Paulownia
Species - Fortunei
Common name - Fortune Tree
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 6 - 9
Height - 40'-70' / 12.2m - 21.3m
Spread - 30'-50' / 9.1m - 15.2m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Ornamental deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, laom, Sand, well drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Street Trees, Tropical, Vine
Germination rate - 88%
Bloom season - Spring, early summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White, Purple, Lavender
|Germination||Paulownia seeds are easy to germinate! Germination rate will be between 60 and 90%. The average is 80%! |
SHORT GERMINATION INFO:
Sow seeds on the surface of the prepared moist soil, cover with clear plastic for humidity control and place in very light (no direct sunshine) and warm place. Germination is quite fast!. For more detailed info on propagation - please read below!
DETAILED GERMINATION INFO:
How to do it:
There are many ways to start Paulownia from seed. This is one way. There is nothing new to this technique. It is just borrowed from many other people and modified to suit Paulownia. The fact that you can do it in your home without a lot of money tied up in a greenhouse or beds, and you can raise over 1,000 small seedlings in a 6 square foot area, makes it nice! It gets you through the germination problems associated with Paulownia and to the point where the little trees want to grow.
1. Mix the seed with the instant potato flakes in a quart jar to dilute the seed for even spreading.
2. Put about 1 1/2 gallons of dry sphagnum into each flat. Make it level!
3. Evenly spread the seed/potato mix on top of the sphagnum. Leave it on top! Do not mix into the sphagnum. Light on the seeds is required for germination! 700 to 1,000 foot-candles are best.
4. Fill 2 plastic domes with water and gently place the seeded flats on top of the water filled domes. Allow the sphagnum to become completely water logged before removing flat (12 hrs.).
5. Remove the flat and pour the remaining water from the dome. Place the dome over the top of the seeded flat. This will make a miniature green house with an excellent environment for germination.
6. Place the seeded dome flat about 10-14 inches under the 4-foot lights. Mist lightly with water ever day. Don't over water. You can deplete the nutrients in the peat. (P. S. When mounting the lights, they should be very close together! They should occupy a space of about 1 1/2-foot wide by 4 foot long.)
7. Wait for 3 weeks. Leave the lights on 24 hours each day. Don't let the temperature get below 70 degrees F and not above 85 degrees.
8. At 3 weeks and with a sharp pencil, transfer the small seedlings into the 288 plug trays. These plug trays need to be filled and packed, with wet, high-grade sphagnum before transferring. (At this point you can use any size pot you want, but a greenhouse will be required! This paper deals with home grown. )
9. To allow establishment, place a dome over each of the 4 trays for another week, then remove the domes for good. At this point, fertilizer can be used for the first time. Any earlier, it would have burned the young roots.
10. After 8 weeks from sowing, the seedlings will need to be hardened off. This takes about 1 week of tapering off their protected, inside environment and building them up to the harsh, outside environment.
11. In 9 to 10 weeks they will be ready to bed plant or field plant or transferred into larger pots.
P. S. Watch out for insects and disease! I use Orthene and Benlate for most problems.
VERY USEFUL LINKS: http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/for/for39/for39.htm