Paulownia Growth Diary: Royal Empress Tress or Princess Tree

I have finally purchased a Paulownia tree from Since I ordered in the springtime I had to wait about two weeks for my federal express shipment. I actually received two Paulownias. One already had bark development and one was a seedling with many leaves.

The tree I purchased was actually the one that already had bark. It had no leaves but I could tell it did some growing during its journey. There were some very new white root tips and I could see that the leaves were trying to bud as well. It had long roots but not too many of them. Overall it appeared to be the “stick,” that many people have described online after ordering their Princess trees.

I have looked at countless websites and information regarding the Paulownia. In some parts of the United States they are invasive due to an ample water supply with mild winters. El Paso on the other hand does not have a lot of rain although we have mild winters I believe that although the Paulownia does not need a lot of water, it probably needs more than the El Paso climate will supply out in the desert. As a result I decided to give the Paulownia a try. I was purposely looking for a tree to replace the Mesquite I lost in the February 2011 freeze. I wanted something to grow quickly for my children to enjoy. I also wanted flowers so I could enjoy it. I thought it would be a lot of fun for them to watch. So far it has been very entertaining for them. They love to run outside and see how it is doing.

I will be keeping a photo diary online for the tree. I have seen a few photo diaries online but they have only a few pictures and no one has really posted a chronological picture diary of when you first get the tree and its immediate growth.

May 3, 2012   ” The Paulownia arrived. . . .”

 1.1 Planted Paulownia May 3, 2012

May 8, 2012 . . . .


May 15, 2012


UPDATE: June 21, 2012

Well, I have a new garden obsession or rather my obsession in ponds has blossomed into . . . . natural pools!!! So what that means is that the Paulownia tree needs to be moved. I have placed it into a pot while I figure out where I am going to put it. For now it lives in my sunroom with its sibling that is also still potted. I am thinking of planting them in the front of my house. I have a patch of earth that seems to kill everything, well the two fragile trees I have already placed there died. I read that Paulownia can handle contaminated soil. So I guess we shall see if it is true. I also lost an Italian cypress this winter. It was always much smaller than the others lining my front yard.  I may place the second Paulownia there. I know that it won’t make much geometric sense since it will be a different tree in a row of Italian cypress but I am not exactly the most square gardener either. I like things wild and crazy.

Here are the two babies waiting for their new positions in the garden.

Paulownia June 23, 2012 

Trees in Containers II: Weeping Cherry Tree

Last year in the summer I started an experiment in which I placed two weeping cherry trees into their own containers for my courtyard area. Only one survived the winter. I know that the El Paso winters have gotten a bit colder and I should have been more careful about the temperature of the container plants.

Having plants grow in containers makes them more susceptible to the cold because the soil in the container reaches about the same temperature as the air. Plus wind can bring the temperature and moisture down further. Needless to say the tree that survived the winter was placed close to my front door and shielded from the wind. The tree which died was at the corner of my house and received a lot of wind whipping around the corner.

This winter I will probably move the tree into my home as the colder winter months approach. I have since replaced the weeping cherry which died with a knockout rose bush I purchased at Home Depot.

Here is a picture of my Weeping Cherry which survived. . . .