Gardentime
Full Member
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:03 am
Location: Connecticut

What's the real story with royal empress trees?

Hi everyone, we live in CT and have a royal empress tree that we planted last year. It was a 2 foot twig when we planted it and it grew leaves and branches but then the branches fell off in the fall. I have read articles on other websites where people have taken a saw and cut the 'twig' to the ground before bloom time. People have said that the tree grew 15 feet that season after cutting it to the ground. I want to know if I should do the same to my tree.

I would greatly appreciate any comments/suggestions,

Thank you.
"At the end of the day you should be proud of what you have planted"

MagnoliaMan
Cool Member
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:15 pm

Jeez, go figure

If your empress tree is Paulonia tomentosa, here is my story. As a nurseryman in Kansas, zone 6A, we planted a row of them because they were touted as "growing 8-10' a year." We planted some 2-3' whips in the field and by golly, they grew to 8-10' the first year! Wow. However, after the following cold winter they were only stubs, and regrew 6-8' the next year. I think that they are a zone 7 plant, subject to Kansas winters of wet, maybe dry, maybe cold, maybe normal...and if anything abnormal happens they die back when young. The reason that I say when young is that I am familiar with an established specimen here (7-8" caliper) that survives all and blooms each year. Like I said, go figure.

Gardentime
Full Member
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:03 am
Location: Connecticut

So, should I get the saw out and cut my tree?

valleytreeman
Senior Member
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:31 pm
Location: Shenandoah Valley

I would

Gardedn time, Magmans description of how Pawlonias grow as juveniles is right on. I've seen the same response many times. Yes cut it off at the ground and you will get a straight stem with impressive growth. We call this copice management in forestry and is often used with beligerant black walnuts to get a straight stemmed specimen. Once roots are well established it should begin resist winter die back. Usually the die back involves late season growth. Don't fertilize it and don't water after the first of July unless in severe drought. You want the wood to harden before winter rather than to stimulate continual season long growth. Keep in mind they typically they grow on sandy well to excessively drained soils.
hey its me!

Treeman

Gardentime
Full Member
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:03 am
Location: Connecticut

Reply..

Thank you VTM,

Since I'm not an experienced gardener, when should I cut my tree to the ground? (temps are in the 50's this week in Connecticut) -Should I wait until at least mid-April at the earliest?


Thanks.
"At the end of the day you should be proud of what you have planted"

valleytreeman
Senior Member
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:31 pm
Location: Shenandoah Valley

Git er done

You want to do this before the tree is ready to break dormancxy.... now is a very good time.
hey its me!

Treeman

Gardentime
Full Member
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:03 am
Location: Connecticut

Just One More Question...

In the future I will try to ask all of my questions at one time..

Question: When I cut the 2-3ft. twig that is there now, can I take the cutting and plant it again, to grow another tree? If yes, will it grow just as fast?


Thanks guys!
"At the end of the day you should be proud of what you have planted"

Return to “Trees, Shrubs, and Hedges”