Royal Empress Tree: World’s Fastest Growing Shade Tree

empress-tree-bloom
Image by Bri Weldon

By Sandra O’Hare

Instant shade usually comes at a price. Normally, you’d have one of more disadvantages from trees that grow super fast. One would be weak branches and trunks easily damaged by wind. Then there is the possibility of inferior disease or pest resistance. Last but not least would be overly aggressive root systems. You don’t need roots taking over your yard and possibly a neighbor’s as well. This can cause multiple landscape side effects. Among the possibilities:

  • Causing smaller plants to have to fight for water and nutrients to survive – many of which may not be able to win the battle.
  • Making it nearly impossible to dig a whole to plant new shrubs, other trees or perennials in your soil.
  • Clogging up your underground drainage system with roots that seek water.
  • Constantly littering your yard with fallen softwood branches.

You won’t have any of these problems with the Royal Empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) though. So what are the benefits gained from this beautiful tree? Read on to find out.

Benefits to Growing a Royal Empress Tree

No tree actually gives you “instant shade.” For that you need a roof. Most fast growing trees will add 4-6 feet a year in height. The Royal Empress tree can grow an incredible 15 feet a year. They have a lovely high-branched canopy and non-aggressive root system. You won’t have to worry about it being invasive, or prone to disease and pest problems. Instead of seeking water, Royal Empress is proven to have excellent drought tolerance.

You also get the bonus of large, beautiful lavender blooms in spring. The Royal Empress tree offers a cloud of long lasting, gorgeous color that is sweetly scented. The leaves are very large in size and a nice rich green in summer. The wood is stronger than balsam and is actually a hardwood used in some countries for lumber and fine furniture.

Because these trees grow so quickly, they can help you start saving money on utility costs in a few years – not decades. Large trees can shave up to 25% off of your heating and cooling bills.

The most incredible benefit of the hybrid Paulownia tree is environmental. The huge leaves filter pollutants and toxins out of the air at a rapid pace. One Royal Empress tree can absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide a day and replace it our air with clean, pure oxygen. Just one tree has this capability. They also clear the air of harmful greenhouse gases. The roots of the Paulownia quickly absorb excessive fertilizer from crop field or animal production zones run off.

If you’re going to plant a tree, plant one that will benefit you and the Earth. The Empress tree offers you more than any other single tree that grows on our planet. It is not an alien species to North America. Fossilized evidence that species once grew on this continent in abundance has been located.

Beautiful and unusual, the benefits of hybrid Paulownia trees aren’t a bunch of marketing hype. Become a greener citizen by growing these trees in the landscape. The Royal Empress tree is actually a most convenient truth for benefit of all.

This article was last updated on

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