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Royal Empress Trees

Paulownia elongata

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Growing Zones: 7-11
(hardy down to 10℉)

Growing Zones 7-11
You are in Growing Zone: 6

Mature Height:

40-50 ft.

Mature Width:

30-40 ft.


Full Sun, Partial Sun


12 ft.

Growth Rate:


Drought Tolerance:


Botanical Name:

Paulownia elongata

Does Not Ship To:


Don't Buy Bare-Root Trees (learn why below)

World's Fastest Growing Tree

I wouldn't have believed it, had I not seen my father-in-law plant the Empress Tree months earlier.

My in-laws are farmers and definitely know what they're doing, but I still had to grow one in my yard.

We had a spot where I wanted to block the afternoon sun and provide a little privacy between us and our neighbor.

I planted our Royal Empress Tree late in the season, so I knew it wouldn't grow much before going dormant. Still, it reached about 6 feet.

My Father-in-law wasn't impressed. He said 'cut it down and you'll really see a show'. 'But I'll lose all this growth', I replied. 'No you won't' he said, 'you'll get it back in a few weeks, just watch'. He took a saw and cut it flat to the ground.

He was right. This tree is indestructible! It shot out of the ground in spring and grew 15 feet that year, then reached 25 feet the next year. It was like watching Jack and the Beanstalk.

You could measure its growth daily. My 6 year-old was out there almost every day staring at it. Two of my neighbors thought it was so beautiful, they each planted an Empress Tree of their own. I've even had professional landscapers stop and ask me where they can find them.

It's an entertaining tree year-round. In the winter, its branches are covered with furry, pea sized buds, just waiting to burst into huge flowers. At the first sign of spring, the tree explodes with purple blooms. Cars slow down to look at it. The fragrance is incredible... it's like a cross between gardenia and jasmine.

When summer comes, the tree forms a dense canopy that can drastically cut your power bills. The leaves are huge, measuring about a foot wide. They're almost tropical looking. When they drop in the fall, it's an easy clean up... not like my Oaks that scatter tens of thousands of tiny leaves.

Plus, bigger leaves mean fewer branches, so you get more sunlight and natural heat coming through in the winter when you need it most.

Best of all, this is a flowering tree you don't have to baby. It grows almost everywhere, from Mexico to Canada, preferring zones 7-11. It has no significant insect or disease problems, tolerates drought, and grows in almost any kind of soil, even toxic ones. It's a hardwood tree that lives to an old age.

You can also feel good that you're planting one of the most environmentally beneficial trees in the world. Your Empress Tree will have large leaves that act as giant air filters, pulling pollution out of the air at a remarkable rate, turning it into wood, then releasing high amounts of beneficial oxygen.

This year's Empress Trees are in short supply. Recent publicity and recommendations from TV shows like Oprah have fueled demand.

Just beware that not all Empress Trees are the same. Some nurseries use wild seed that doesn't grow as quickly and can be invasive. Others use growth inhibitors to keep their trees smaller for shipping. This can stay in the tree for several months, giving you disappointing results.

Fast Growing Trees Nursery uses proven stock that's non-invasive, faster growing, and hardier... your tree arrives ready for explosive growth.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 / 5.0
363 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Stars
Our Royal Empress Tree is amazing! We call it ""the Charlie Brown"" tree because it just looks so different than all the others. Planted it last spring 2013-A big long ""stick"". Literally-a stick about 4'tall. No leaves, no branches; nothing. Planted it anyway and followed the instructions for care. Late May it began to show life! Huge leaves appeared. AWESOME! Today it stands about 15' tall and only has 5 branches coming out the top of it. I know from last year though, that these few branches will provide plenty of space for all those huge leaves and wonderful shade they bring. We still haven't seen the flower show and eagerly await their arrival this spring. I have since purchased a couple more of these babies for my parents and my mother in law. So Cool! Seriously recommend
January 1, 2013
over 4 years ago
Bought two of these trees about 5 years ago... they were about 12-18"" when we got them.. they are now both at least 60 feet tall and now spreading out wide. We live in Central Texas, where we have been in a drought, so I am guessing that is why we have not had flowers really... but it has plenty of big leaves. We recently expanded our patio and the workers loved taking breaks under them because they produce so much shade. My one neighbor keeps having to cut it back on his side of the fence because it grows over his garden and prevents sun... but other then that they are great trees if you need shade fast
January 1, 2013
We have 7 Royal Empress trees in our yard and what a site they are! You can almost watch them grow. Three have been planted now for 3 years and are 25-30 feet tall. Two others are 15 feet tall and two I just planted have already grown 2 feet. No complaints here! And we live in cold, snowy Ohio
January 1, 2013
over 7 years ago
I live in Central Texas, Copperas Cove to be exact, and had never seen an Empress Tree or anything like it, so I wanted one. The tree arrived in a cardboard box in the 1 gallon size pot I ordered. Due to the high heat we've had here over the past month, the tree took a bit of a hit during shipping. The leaves were yellow/brown - but the rest of the tree looked OK. I gently pulled the icky leaves off and it didn't seem to do any harm. The "trunk" is about a half inch wide and about 2 foot tall.
I planted it in a larger pot, to remain on my patio until I know where it's permanent home will be.
Once in it's new pot, this tree has taken off! I have 8 new leaves that have shot up an extra 6 inches of trunk so far. I am truly amazed at how fast this tree does grow! The leaves on it are big and a beautiful rich green color. The entire tree is strong. I've added another stake to give it added strength as it grows. I water it every other day, which it seems to really like. Not a thorough soaking, just about 1/4 to 1/2 a gallon of water...I wouldn't give it that much, but because it is over 100 degrees every day, it needs the extra. If you live in my area and are depending on natural rain to water your plant - it will die as we haven't gotten much rain at all this year. Newly transplanted plants, especially young ones, need to be hand watered!! I bought a few gallons of distilled water, and I m is it with the regular water so the plant doesn't get a full dose of our hard water right at first.
This may sound a little strange, but plants that has leaves like this....little hairs on it - I was told that if I was going to "handle" any part of this tree - to make sure I wash my hands before touching it. For whatever reason - Oils & Dirt you have on your hands , transfers to the leaves, trunk, and it will get sick. I now wash my hands every time I go to tend to this tree. Not only do I not want to risk the trees health because of the money or time I've put into it, I wouldn't want it to get sick and die. That's just what I was told by a local nursery.
Overall, I love this little tree and am excited to watch it grow and flower! has great service and I'll continue to purchase from them.
August 21, 2014
Copperas Cove, TX
Growing Zone:
Claims seem true!
The tree was delivered on June 06, 2014 and was planted the same day. I took a lot of harassment as the "tree" was barely 3" tall with only 5 leaves, each about the size of a dime. It looked like a Green Q-tip! It has only been planted 86 days now and is 5' tall and about 4' in diameter and the leaves set easily 18-20" across. Needless to say the harassment has turned to envy! I am anxious to see fall arrive and to see how large this tree will be by the end of next year's growing season.
September 2, 2014
over 3 years ago
Great Tree For Wide Open Spaces
I have a farm in southern Maryland. I planted this tree last July in an open area away from our house in sandy soil. We mulched it, but only watered it two or three times after planting it.

True to its reputation as a fast growing tree, it added three feet to its height before winter set in. Its condition when it arrived was perfect. It was not touched by any of our ubiquitous herbivores. (We have to fence and wrap the trunks of ALL of our other young trees to protect them from deer and rabbits.)

I have admired the blossoms of this tree along spring time road sides for years, and loved the (albeit invasive) history of its arrival in the eastern USA. The soft, puffy seeds were used as a packing material by Chinese porcelain exporters in the 19th century. (Historic packing peanuts!)

Many of the "packing peanuts" were dumped, or otherwise scattered. So this non-native is sometime viewed as an invasive species in the eastern United States, and other temperate areas to its liking.

I am not in favor of planting any non-native or uber-hybridized (think Bradford Pear) trees that can out-compete native plants. I have lived in Boston, Philadelphia, Alexandria, VA, Washington, DC and other areas of the wealthy eastern USA where 19th century China imports were most prevalent. However, I have never seen areas where Paulownia tomentosa has seemed to dominate native trees.

The aspect of the tree that caught my attention over the many years prior to my deciding to plant the tree was the unique, large, purple clusters of flowers held aloft by the large, relatively few, big branches of the tree.

Another interesting historical fact about the tree is that, in China, an old custom is to plant a Royal Empress Tree when a baby girl is born. The fast-growing tree matures when she does. When she is eligible for marriage the tree is cut down, and carved into wooden articles for her dowry.
January 1, 2015
Brandywine, MD
Growing Zone:
Four years after buying my Royal Empress Trees from they are now both somewhere around 30 feet tall. I love my trees sooooo much and constantly get comments on the size of the leaves. My only question is why have they never produced flowers?
January 1, 2013
Keeps coming back
I bought my Empress 2 years ago. The tree grew moderately the first year (I planted it late). The next year, a late frost came in and I thought that the tree had died. I cut it down almost to the root, and figured that was that. Boy, was I wrong! It grew about 3 feet that year, and this year, it grew almost 8 feet. I'm really impressed by how resilient this tree is, and looking forward to next year, when it really begins to shade my patio.
November 14, 2014
Westfield, IN
Growing Zone:
Fast grower
I bought the Royal Empress about 3 months ago it arrived about 10" tall, my wife decided to mow the lawn while I was at work and mowed over the tree... It came to life and has grown over a foot in the last couple of weeks.
August 4, 2014
When the trees arrived, they were only six inch sprouts with a couple of leaves each. I was worried that they would not root because the mulch used in shipping was mostly wood chips and very dry. Boy was I wrong.I planted two Royal Empress trees on 29 Jun 2013. I had read that they can grow as much as 8-12 feet in one year… Well the first one, in my front yard is ""only"" 5 and half feet high in twelve weeks. We still have a lot of growing season in Florida left for this year so… it should easily make the 8 ft. statement… Now, regards my second tree, planted on the same day in my side yard. Well…. It is nearly eleven feet tall and growing so fast, I think if you stand there long enough you can see it growing!! Eleven feet in twelve weeks… amazing!Unless something unforeseen happens, I expect the second tree to reach 16-18 feet in short order. Amazing trees… my only warning… These trees are growing very fast, have huge leaves, and until they mature a little they are supporting these huge leaves on a very soft and fragile stock. High winds tend to snap off some of the leaf stems. I am not sure what would happen to these trees if we got a tropic storm while they were in this rapid growth phase. Anyway, I am shocked by the growth rate and am looking forward to seeing the tree flower in the future.
January 1, 2013
over 4 years ago

Planting & Care

It's Easy to Plant & Care for Your Royal Empress Trees

Royal Empress Trees Planting Diretions

The Royal Empress Tree (Paulownia elongata) is a FAST growing, decorative, shade producing tree. In addition to being beautiful, the Empress Tree is one of the most environmentally beneficial trees on Earth. It’s incredibly efficient at absorbing carbon dioxide (greenhouse gases) and releasing large amounts of oxygen into the air thanks to its large, fan-like leaves. After being established for a couple years, it will start to produce lovely purple-white flowers in the spring similar to orchids but much larger.

They do best when planted in USDA growing zones 7-11 and once situated in their new home, grow like bamboo in comparison to how tall they get at such a rapid pace. Empresses can mature to a height of 40-50 feet and a mature width of about 30-40 feet wide. Our Empress has been treated to ensure that it will be non-invasive and not tear up your landscaping but we do not recommend planting them next to foundations, sidewalks, septic/water/power or driveways. For a fast growing shade, oxygen producer or decorative blooming tree, the Royal Empress cannot be matched!

Selecting a location: Empress trees are nearly indestructible once they have become established but do require some care in their early stages of growth. Full sun is best for its exposure and well draining soil is existential to the health of the tree.

Planting Directions: Plant your tree after the last frost or when surrounding plants begin to bud out. For best results, mix in potting soil or soil conditioner, especially if planting in clay or poor soil.

1) Make your hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball.
2) Carefully remove the Empress tree from its container tapping on the sides to help free up any clinging roots or soil.
3) Place the tree in the hole and spread the roots out evenly. You’ll want to plant your tree so that the “root collar” is level with the ground (see Fig. 2) The “root collar” is the height where the roots effectively become the stem of the tree. It is commonly seen as a line that is lighter bark on top, darker roots on bottom. This is the line where the soil initially came to when your seedling was grown.
4) Keep the tree straight as you begin to backfill the hole, tamping down lightly as you fill to prevent any air pockets from forming in the soil.
5) Water the area to moisten/settle the soil and then broadcast a good layer of mulch to preserve soil moisture and keep weeds and grasses back.

Watering: DO NOT OVER WATER your Empress Tree. When the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil is dry, add water. Do not allow soil to stay soggy as Empress trees will not tolerate over watering in the slightest. As a rule, let the soil surrounding the tree dry out before watering. If your tree is wet upon arrival, skip the initial watering for two days. Drooping branches and shriveled, brown leaves are signs of both under and over watering. If under-watered, the leaves will become dry and brittle. If over-watered, the leaves will become yellow to black and begin to shrink. They will be soft, not brittle. If this happens, stop watering your tree until it revives. If too much damage has been done, it will grow a new trunk from the base and grow a new tree.

Fertilizer: Empress Trees love organic fertilizer high in nitrogen, in fact they LOVE it. You can use Miracle Gro or a balanced tree fertilizer. Just be sure the 1st of the three numbers on your organic fertilizer is higher than the others indicating an extra boost of nitrogen (Example: 20-10-10). You can fertilize twice a month in the growing season. Stop fertilizing before the tree goes back into dormancy. Additional fertilizing should only be done after the first year. Take care not to go overboard with fertilizing in the beginning of spring or you may inhibit the blooms from forming.

Spring Pruning: Let your tree grow for one entire year. If your empress tree did not grow at least 4 feet before winter dormancy, we recommend that you cut it to the ground at the very start of spring (a process called "coppicing"). This may seem odd, but it will grow a bunch of small sprouts. Select the “alpha” of the bunch and pinch the others off. This will focus all of the nutrients into that one growth and become a very straight, beautiful tree. Your tree(s) will more than make up for the lost growth in the first few weeks. We have seen some Empress Trees grow as many as 20 feet in the first year after being cut back to the ground. Don’t worry about being exact. This process (coppicing) can be done any time of year, though we recommend spring.

Branch Pruning: Large leaves grow in pairs up the tree (one on each side). Every few inches up the tree, you will see a new set. These should be left on the tree to maximize photosynthesis. These leaves will fall off later. Above each leaf on the tree’s stem, you will see a little bud growing. This is referred to as a “sucker.” It is a permanent branch trying to grow. Pinch these off until you get to the height where you want your first branches to grow. The higher you let your branches start, the higher your clearance will be under the branches (see Fig. 3)

Winter Dormancy: During late fall and winter, your tree will go dormant. The leaves will fall off and the stem will turn brown. Nothing will be happening above ground, but the roots will continue to grow below, especially during nice days. This winter root growth will help accelerate growth when spring comes.

Deer: The Royal Empress Tree is not a desired food for deer. However, if nothing more appetizing is available, they have been known to eat the growth bud at the top of the stem. If you think this may be a problem, you may want to consider caging your trees as this is the guaranteed answer to deer problems.

      figure 1                                         figure 2                                  figure 3

Fun Facts:
*Empress wood is the second most valuable wood grown in the US, behind only Cherry.
*Throughout the Orient, the Empress tree is planted at the birth of a daughter. When she marries, the tree is cut down and used to build a wedding chest and gifts.
*Ancient lore has it that the legendary Phoenix flew across the Orient and would only land on Empress Trees – bringing good fortune to the nearby household.
*Empress lumber is farmed on plantations rather than taken from old growth forests. It thrives on marginal or even toxic soil.
*Empress roots go down as far as 40 feet which helps to regulate the water table as well as remove soil salinity and ground pollutants. Empress trees are also used to clean toxic soil and absorb animal waste.
*Giant leaves drop each winter, releasing nitrogen and increasing soil fertility.
In the orient, Empress trees are planted between row crops and have improved yields by as much as 30%.
*Your cloned tree is non-invasive; its seeds are virtually sterile.
*Empress trees save forests by producing sawn timber in 7-12 years and growing 2-4 times more lumber than most other commercial trees in the same time period. This is vital as the supply of exotic and hardwood trees rapidly diminishes.
*After being harvested, a new Empress tree grows back from the stump and uses the same well-established root system. This saves post-harvest clearing costs, land erosion and runoff. The same stump can re-grow 7-10 full sized trees.
*The technology that created your Super Tree is the result of a major international research project that planted millions of Empress trees throughout China, India, and the Philippians.

Planting & Care

Questions & Answers

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Browse 285 questions Browse 285 questions and 496 answers
Why did you choose this? Store
Cynthia B on Oct 17, 2017
needed fast growing tree but tree has only grown 4 inches in one year
Irene M on Oct 3, 2017
Cynthia B on Oct 17, 2017
Fast growing shade tree with beautiful blossoms in the spring.
John B on Oct 16, 2017
needed fast growing tree but tree has only grown 4 inches in one year
Irene M on Oct 3, 2017
I liked the look of the tree. It has not bloomed although it is quite tall and the leaves are huge!. Its in the side garden and doesn't get the loving that the deck garden trees enjoy.
Maryalice H on Sep 15, 2017
Growth for my back yard
Thomas C on Aug 31, 2017
Perfect size for my front yard. I love fragrant plantings. Need quick growth. I am very excited about this tree. Can't wait to have it start growing.
Reva S on Aug 20, 2017
Por lo rapido que crear ya tengo uno y este es para mí hermano
victor o on Aug 13, 2017
Fast growing
Joy S on Aug 13, 2017
best friend had a baby and wanted something they could watch grow with the baby
DREW G on Aug 11, 2017
Price, fast growing, flowers and the fragrance
Dona R on Aug 11, 2017
Wanted shade and something different then the rest of my neighbors.
Anthony M on Aug 10, 2017
After the builder cut down too many trees, we've been forced to replace them. The reputation of this tree makes it a "must-bye" for us.
John J on Aug 10, 2017
Because I need a fast growing shade tree and it looks beautiful
Anita M on Aug 9, 2017
For shade near my front porch. It really did grow from a couple feet tall last year to more than 12 feet this year. I wanted to see the large leaves myself and rapid growth and it has been amazing in height and width. Such a beautiful tree. Awesome!
Reba H on Aug 8, 2017
Fast growing shade tree. Pretty.
Robert M on Aug 6, 2017
Color and looks.
Richard B on Aug 4, 2017
I'm hoping they will give fast, dense shade very quickly.I'm putting them by my horse corral to give my horses some shade.
RaeLynn H on Aug 4, 2017
This tree was recommended by a friend and at 69 years old, I wanted a fast growing tree to appreciate.
Larry H on Aug 4, 2017
I liked the reviews about it. Especially about the color and beauty and shade.
kathleen L on Aug 4, 2017
Purchased 2 last year and the growth rate is unbelievable.
Tereca B on Aug 3, 2017
Fast growing
pat b on Aug 3, 2017
Because of how fast it grows the huge leaves and the blooms
Maria C on Aug 2, 2017
The Large leafed foliage and showy flowers. Add to that the speed that this tree grows and we will have some shad in no time.
Wilfred H on Aug 2, 2017
Fast growing, had two of them almost totally mowed down by an angry bull and they are growing back faster than ever. Great for shade.
Selina F on Aug 2, 2017
grammygretch on Jul 14, 2017
Rapid growth and shade potential.
Roberto D on Jul 9, 2017
Fast growing shade tree and adds color to the yard with the beautiful flowers. Plus, it's a gift for my daughter who loves the tree.
Raul C on Jul 9, 2017
I needed a shade tree for my backyard. The beauty and fast growing potential of this tree was very appealing.
Debra Louise D on Jul 8, 2017
Overall look fast growing
Christopher S on Jul 8, 2017
Wanted a fast growing shade tree to replace our weeping willow that got bug infested and had to be cut down.
Beth C on Jul 7, 2017
The reviews were promising. The Royal Empress tree, if it blooms purple NOT pink, will look wonderful in my yard. I am also hopeful that once the two trees I ordered are large enough they will help to lower my cooling bill in the summer!
April M on Jul 7, 2017
lovely color and soft fragance
Aline H on Jul 6, 2017
Ask me later on how well this tree does. Choose it for fast growth, long life, and drought, and soil tolerance.
Jerrye B on Jul 6, 2017
Love the idea that it is a fast growing tree. We will soon see.
Katherine F on Jul 5, 2017
Trying to add a great looking tree to the yard. It is growing well this year.
William M on Jul 4, 2017
it is supposed to grow fast.
Teresa C on Jun 30, 2017
unique and fragrant
Andrew W on Jun 25, 2017
Unique, fast growing
Ron V on Jun 24, 2017
Our home faces south with little shade to the west. With temperatures exceeding 105 degrees we needed a fast growing shade tree that could help cool our home and cut our energy bill. The Royal Empress fits this application perfectly and we're looking forward to increased comfort and lower power bills while adding beauty to our yard.
Timothy H on Jun 24, 2017
rate of growth....I'm old
Tomas V on Jun 21, 2017
Divine Inspiration
Takysha M on Jun 20, 2017
I liked the size at maturity with the pretty blooms
Robin R on Jun 19, 2017
Love the large leaves and beautiful flowers. This is new for me so can't wait to see how this works out for our new backyard
Maxine S on Jun 18, 2017
Both big leaves and a flower
Sam H on Jun 17, 2017
I picked the Royal Empress because of the rave reviews it received, it's beautiful, drought tolerant, fast growing, shade tree.
Tonya W on Jun 17, 2017
Im on 5 acres of HOT sand (made worse with high content of magnetite) with very few trees, and I need shade for myself, my dog, my flock, and other shade loving plants that struggle out here. Hopefully this is will solve the problem, and with a high water table (15-20' from grade) im sure i wont have to water it once it reaches it. If it does well by next year I'll be ordering more!
dustin h on Jun 16, 2017
I chose this tree because it was fast growing and had beautiful flowers.
Karen S on Jun 16, 2017
I need a quick growing shade tree for back yard. The trees that were planted are more like shrubs that are over 20 years old and not much shade we are cutting them down. Hope this grows like the other trees and plants that we have bought from you. We have been very happy with all of our purchases!!! Thanks so much
Cecile J on Jun 15, 2017
I have one and my mother wants one. mine started to flower after too years and keeps flowering better every year now it has about forty flowers on it. when she seen them she had to have one.
ronald s on Jun 13, 2017
Because it beautiful tree so I can think of Philadelphia Pennsylvania that when I saw them in bloom in may during my vist in Pennsylvania.
FRANKIE M on Jun 13, 2017
Fast growing shade tree with beautiful blossoms in the spring.
John B on Oct 16, 2017
I liked the look of the tree. It has not bloomed although it is quite tall and the leaves are huge!. Its in the side garden and doesn't get the loving that the deck garden trees enjoy.
Maryalice H on Sep 15, 2017
How close to a fence can I plant this tree?
ashley y on Apr 2, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Remember, this tree grows fast! If you don't want the tree limbs to overhang the fence, you should probably plant 12-15 feet from the fence. If it's roots you are worried about, 15-25 feet should prevent any problems. If the roots can grow under the fence and the limbs hang over it, you can plant 8-10 feet from the fence.
Can I cut off lower limbs so I can walk/sit/mow under it?
James on Nov 19, 2014
BEST ANSWER: Yes, as I have trimmed mine up to about 6 feet to allow my zero turn mower to pass under them. These trees just keep on growing!
Can a person cut it back and keep it at a certain height every year with out killing it?
A shopper on Jun 8, 2014
BEST ANSWER: Yes, you can keep Royal Empress trees at a certain height without killing them. You can prune your tree in the early spring to your desired height. It will grow back a few inches over the summer. This process will create a shorter tree that branches out more.
I live in Indiana and I still do not have leaves on the two royal Empress trees what do I do? The suckers are on the roots but not the tree.
claudette e on May 30, 2014
BEST ANSWER: Check the trunk for green tissue. If it is green, the tree may still be winter dormant or shocky. Give it time. If not green, cut down the existing trunk and let a sucker grow into the tree. They grow really fast, so it will have a nice tree in it's place in no time.
My Royal Empress came as a bare stick, and now it has 2 branches on it with leaves about 6" wide and growing nicely. Recently I noticed that the leaves had brownish, yellow spots all over them, and some have little holes. Can you help with this question? Thanks!
Arlene P on Mar 18, 2015
BEST ANSWER: First of all, this is a fast-growing robust tree, so the spots should not endanger the tree.This could be anthracnose, which good hygiene can help with -- keep the area under the tree raked and clean and make sure the old leaves are discarded, not put on the compost pile. It cold also be a host of other things, and I am afraid we don't have enough information to say exactly what you have. If it continues to be a problem, we recommend you contact your Extension Agent to determine what you have and what remedies would help.
How does these Empress tree do in windy area?
Debbie D on May 31, 2014
BEST ANSWER: I live on the Texas gulf coast we have not had a major full blown huricane since we planted our tree we have had winds up to 75-80 miles per hour and the tree hasn't lost any limbs and only limited leaves.
Does this tree put out seeds that then grow even more of the trees?
A shopper on Jun 9, 2014
BEST ANSWER: No, our Royal Empress Trees are sterile therefore you will not get seeds.
Does this tree have roots that stay at the surface of the ground? Do they disrupt sidewalks within 4-5 ft?
Dan W on Jul 27, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Royal Empress roots typically grow straight down. However, I would still not recommend planting it that close. The closest I would plant this tree to a sidewalk would be about 15ft.
What is the typical lifespan for these trees?
A shopper on Jun 2, 2014
BEST ANSWER: The Royal Empress is said to live from 70-125 years.
should I use a tree tube around my newly planted empress trees to protect them from damage the first year or so?
James F on Jun 10, 2014
BEST ANSWER: I did. As Catherine said, the tree is very wet and easily damaged in the first year or so. I had to protect mine from the lawn guys and their weed eaters. After a year or so, the trunk becomes more woody and can protect itself better.
My tree is apprx 30 feet tall and 4 years old and has bloomed and produced beautiful flowers and leaves every year. However, this year, it has no buds or leaves yet. It almost looks dead. How do I tell?
sharon v on Jun 5, 2014
BEST ANSWER: Remember, most of the US had a COLD, HARD winter! Give your tree some time, thru June. Hopefully, it will bounce back.
When is best time to plant the royal empress tree in zone 8?
Betty S on Aug 14, 2014
BEST ANSWER: You can plant this tree pretty much any time of the year. If you plant in summer, you will need to pay attention to the watering, keeping it evenly moist for that first season and not letting it dry out. However, this tree does not like wet feet, so be sure to plant it in a well-drained site so when you water, the ground is moist, not soggy. After it is established, it requires very little attention to grow well.
I planted and within a couple weeks the deer chewed it down halfway to about 6". Is there a way to help it recover?
Cherri S on Mar 12, 2015
BEST ANSWER: My husband recently cut my tree down to right above the dirt and put the "stick" in another pot. My tree has grown like a weed with 9 HUGE leaves. The "Stick" my husband put in a pot of dirt ....has taken root and has 5-8 leaves budding out. Just cut it to the ground and water it, add a little fertilizer and watch it go!
Does the Empress pose a problem for the septic system? If yes, how far from the septic system should the Empress Tree be planted?
Grammie on Jul 4, 2015
BEST ANSWER: The Royal Empress Tree has a large root system to support all these blooms ad all that rapid growth, and the roots will extend beyond the drip line of the branches. This tree will eventually get 30-40 feet wide, so I would not plant it any closer to a septic system than 20 feet, and 25 feet would be even safer.
I have these trees and they do not flower, why is that?
A shopper on May 31, 2014
BEST ANSWER: Many of our plants actually bloom in the nursery, but others will take a couple of years or more to decide they are ready to bloom. Many things can affect their blooming; first the tree has to be mature enough to support bloom production, and it has to overcome transplant shock and acclimate itself to a new location before it can grow vigorously. A second reason: The buds form in the summer, hold through the winter and the open into blooms the next spring; if we have an unusually severe winter, or if we have a warm spell in late winter followed by a cold snap, the buds can be killed, and there will be no blooms. This is especially true if you live in zone 5 or northern 6, which is pretty much the northern limit of where this plant will grow. Water can also affect bloom, and either too much water (most likely cause) or too little water (drought has to be really severe!) can cause buds to abort. When the tree is young, if you apply a fertilizer that is heavy in nitrogen, it can stimulate the plant to produce lots of lush foliage at the expense of bloom production. In short, there are many reasons your Empress Tree might not be blooming. But the most likely reason for an established tree not to bloom is that the buds are being killed in winter.
My Royal Empress is 3 years old and the leaves are turning yellow and falling off, what is causing this?
Tammy N on Jun 8, 2015
BEST ANSWER: The most frequent cause of a Royal Empress Tree doing poorly is too much water. It needs a well-drained location, and will suffer and die if it is boggy soil that doesn't every dry out.
i would like to plant an Empress tree as a street tree in front of my house ,I live in orange county Ca .My concern is, would its roots affect the water line or sewer line ?
Anica B. on Aug 17, 2015
My best advise is to contact your water and sewer department to see if they have restrictions of certain trees or how close to the street you are allowed to plant. I know California seems to have restrictions for everything. Better to check before planting.Then, please contact our sales department so that we can help with any of your tree needs. 1 888 504-2001
Thank you and Happy Gardening
When should I plant this tree if I live in zone 7??
Hilary R on Aug 17, 2015
BEST ANSWER: You can plant this in fall or early spring bare root, giving it plenty of time to establish good root growth.We are currently carrying 2-3 ft. potted if you don't want to wait. We usually carry larger sizes bare root which will be available in the fall. Please feel free to contact us if you need help from our sales department at 1 888 504-2001 Happy Gardening
how do you keep the worms off empress trees ?
A shopper on Sep 10, 2014
BEST ANSWER: If the worms are leaving small holes in the leaves, it is unlikely to hurt the tree, since it grows and produces new leaves at such a fast rate. It is hard for us to give advice when we don't know more about your pest, so we highly recommend you contact your local Extension Agent to help identify the worms and to figure out a remedy. They know your local condition and can make an on-site visit to diagnose your problem and recommend solutions.
do the roots grow above ground?
A shopper on Aug 16, 2014
BEST ANSWER: No, I have no roots growing above ground. I planted it like the picture, with grass to the trunk. No issues. This tree has nice big bright green leaves and grows fast. Like it!
I've seen pictures of this plant with brilliantly colored blooms. The photos on your website of the one you appear to be selling has light pink blooms. Could you tell me please how to know what color I'd be getting if I ordered from you?
jennifer a on Oct 19, 2015
BEST ANSWER: The blooms on our Royal Empress are more of a light purple color.
How soon after receiving this tree does it have to be planted in the ground?
Sandra C on Apr 3, 2015
BEST ANSWER: This tree can stay in the container for a few months after receiving it.
I trimmed all the extra branches and made it look like a tree. Will these "branches" I cut off, root and grow?
Gale R on Jul 24, 2017
BEST ANSWER: You might have luck with some rooting hormone, but it is best propagated by taking a 1 inch diameter root clipping from an established tree when it is dormant and planting that. I also wouldn't trim this tree to "look like a tree" until it's 3rd year. It grows so fast because of all the surface area of food converting green leaves. When you prune to make it tree like, it will significantly slow growth.
will my empress tree come back if I cut it down to the ground this fall? It lost all of it's leaves all the sudden in august but the core still looks like it has some green left in it. Can I cut it down this September to the ground and will it regrow?
Katherine W on Sep 25, 2015
BEST ANSWER: We suggest you do that in the early spring and it should then really take off with new growth.
I purchased a couple trees from you 2 years ago. The first year they did not grow that well so I cut them back to the ground, I also dug them up and widened the original hole as I had someone else plant them and they did not dig that big of a whole. Last year they grew about 6 ft tall. Over the winter the leaves fell off and now this spring I have branches that have come out. On 1 tree the branches developed from the base to the top of the tree and I pruned back the branches on the bottom third of the tree. On the other tree branches developed from the base up but not on the top foot of the tree. Is there anything I can do?
John F on May 9, 2015
BEST ANSWER: If they aren't growing like you want by the end of this season, you can cut them back to the ground in early spring next year, which should jump start them into more vigorous growth. You will probably get a number of shoots: select the strongest and cut back all the others. The one left should shoot up very tall, and it will begin the process of developing branches all over again, and eventually flower for you.
How close to a fence can I plant this tree?
Ashley Y on Apr 2, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Remember, this tree grows fast! If you don't want the tree limbs to overhang the fence, you should probably plant 12-15 feet from the fence. If it's roots you are worried about, 15-25 feet should prevent any problems. If the roots can grow under the fence and the limbs hang over it, you can plant 8-10 feet from the fence.
Are there any restrictions to planting in Virginia? I live in zone 7? Will these tress surive in pots if I want to keep in pots on my deck and patio?
Trish on Mar 24, 2015
BEST ANSWER: The Empress Tree grows in zones 5-11, so you should have no problem growing them in your zone, and there are no state restrictions on this tree. You can grow it in a large container, but only as a shrub for its foliage; you will have to keep this vigorous grower pruned back each year, and, as it blooms on last year's wood, you won't get any blooms.
What country is this tree native too?
A shopper on Sep 8, 2014
BEST ANSWER: Central and Western China
A shopper on Jul 26, 2014
BEST ANSWER: Yes I live in Tennessee and it is hard clay. I planted my tree 5 years ago and it is huge now.
It loses its leaves in winter?
A shopper on Jul 24, 2014
BEST ANSWER: The Royal Empress will lose its leaves in the winter.

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