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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.
4.5 / 5.0269 ReviewsGrowth RateSlowMediumFastHardinessTenderHardyOur 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 recommendJanuary 1, 2013Purchased
over 4 years agoBought 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 fastJanuary 1, 2013Beautiful!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! FGT.com has great service and I'll continue to purchase from them.August 21, 2014Copperas Cove, TXGrowing Zone:8Claims 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, 2014Purchased
over 2 years agoWe 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 OhioJanuary 1, 2013Purchased
over 6 years agoGrowth RateSlowMediumFastHardinessTenderHardyGreat Tree For Wide Open SpacesI 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, 2015Brandywine, MDGrowing Zone:7Four years after buying my Royal Empress Trees from www.fast-growing-trees.com 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, 2013Growth RateSlowMediumFastHardinessTenderHardyKeeps coming backI 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, 2014Westfield, INGrowing Zone:5Fast growerI 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, 2014When 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, 2013Purchased
over 3 years ago
Questions(236) & Answers(380)
Browse 238 questions Browse 238 questions and 430 answersWhy did you choose this?Fast-Growing-Trees.com StoreThis tree didn't make it through the first summer?? I was looking for beauty and shade.Linda on Apr 25, 2017How close to a fence can I plant this tree?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?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?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.BEST ANSWER: These trees do not have flowers until they are in the soil and have grown some. My tree did is about 16 feet now and is doing beautifully. I line in TN and the ice storm this year caused a lot of blossom bulbs to freeze so I just got flowers and for a short time. The leaves are now just getting larger. I planted an additional two trees and they are doing fine, but they are only about 2 feet high. Their leaves are huge! I love these trees. They do grow fast and are very sturdy, especially with the winds. Be patient, they will sprout up before your eyes and during a spring, will have the most beautifully breath taking flowers along with the sweetest fragrance. You will be very happy!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!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.Does this tree put out seeds that then grow even more of the trees?BEST ANSWER: No, our Royal Empress Trees are sterile therefore you will not get seeds.How does these Empress tree do in windy area?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 have roots that stay at the surface of the ground? Do they disrupt sidewalks within 4-5 ft?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?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?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?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?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?BEST ANSWER: Deer can be a problem when the tree is young, keeping it eaten down so it never gets a chance to take off. You can put up a wire cage to keep them out so the tree an get going. Once it gets tall and the trunk is stronger, they are seldom a problem, and it is such a strong grower that even if they do eat some leaves, regrowth is fast. It will probably take only 2-3 years for it to get big enough to withstand deer.I have these trees and they do not flower, why is that?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.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 ?BEST ANSWER: Hi Anica
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 GardeningMy Royal Empress is 3 years old and the leaves are turning yellow and falling off, what is causing this?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.do the roots grow above ground?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!When should I plant this tree if I live in zone 7??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 GardeningDoes the Empress pose a problem for the septic system? If yes, how far from the septic system should the Empress Tree be planted?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'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?BEST ANSWER: The blooms on our Royal Empress are more of a light purple color.how do you keep the worms off empress trees ?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.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?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?BEST ANSWER: Central and Western ChinaWILL THE EMPRESS TREES GROW WELL IN HEAVY CLAY SOIL???? THE GROUND IS HARD TO POINT IT CRACKS?????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?BEST ANSWER: The Royal Empress will lose its leaves in the winter.What do the yellow or brown spots on the leaves mean?BEST ANSWER: Sometimes if water droplets dry in the sun on the leaves brown spots will appear where the water was. It could be a fungus, but if the leaves are mostly green and aren't wilting then its probably fine. Remove the leaves with spots and new full green leaves will fill in. If you're concerned you can apply an organic fungicide to your tree. Never over water a Royal Empress Tree!How soon after receiving this tree does it have to be planted in the ground?BEST ANSWER: This tree can stay in the container for a few months after receiving it.do you ship larger tree like 10 ft tall 3" dia?BEST ANSWER: We do not ship anything that large. Typically the largest will be about 6ft tall with an inch caliper.Is there a certain time of year to plant for better results? It's July and in the nintys and dry here in Texas. Should I wait for fall or early spring?BEST ANSWER: We planted our this spring and it's 8 ft tall already. So I suggest spring.Got My tree on April 6 as of today it hasnt gown at all. We have had alot of rain. What can I do??BEST ANSWER: Don't worry, it takes a while for the roots to grow in newly planted soil. It took four months before my tree started growing. After the fist year cut the tree to the ground in spring and then watch the tree take off. I have four trees that I cut down after the fist year and the three grew 14 feet the second year. My third year of growing the tree is 25 feet tall and still growing.
Planting & Care
It's Easy to Plant & Care for Your Royal Empress Trees
Your Royal Empress tree will do well in an area that receives full to partial sunlight. Be sure to plant your tree at least 15-20 feet away from structures or 10 feet away from sidewalks and watch it take off! Also prepare yourself for the beautiful blooms that will be produced every Spring for 6 to 8 weeks in April and May.
Make sure that your Royal Empress tree doesn't sit in a low elevation of the yard, where it could sit in standing water. When you give your Royal Empress Tree water, your soil should be moist, not over saturated or soggy. Allow the soil to dry 2 to 3 inches down in between waterings.
Your tree will love sandy soils and potting mix that is blended with your natural soil. Make sure that your soil is well drained and your Royal Empress Tree will happily adapt to the natural soil in your area.
An organic fertilizer that's high in Nitrogen will give your Royal Empress Tree a boost. They love fertilizer and can be fertilized twice a month during the growing season. Once August rolls around it's time to stop fertilizing your tree in order to allow it to properly prepare for winter dormancy.
Due to cold weather, we have suspended shipping to the areas that are shaded on the map below. Please view the diagram to determine if your area has been affected. This includes anyone in Growing Zones 3 & 4. If you are unsure of your growing zone, visit our Growing Zone Finder.
We will resume normal shipping in the Spring. Please see the table below for your approximate ship date.
Zone 3 & 4
Week of May 15th
Info for Those Who Love to Read:
Orders are occasionally delayed if we see really bad weather approaching, or if we encounter unusual circumstances. A small number of our plants show a specific release date. If you purchase one of these and would like your other items sooner, just let us know.
Amount of Order
Less than $15
32% of order