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Paulownia tomentosa


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Been thinking of getting one of these but I don't like the idea of it setting seed after flowering and getting too tall to control and becoming invasive, has anyone pruned and kept one like a bush?

Edited by ZPalms
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26 minutes ago, ZPalms said:

Been thinking of getting one of these but I don't like the idea of it setting seed after flowering and getting too tall to control and becoming invasive, has anyone pruned and kept one like a bush?

As fast as they grow, thinking they'd be tough to keep under control / shorter.  A bit different looking but Chitalpa would be easier to keep shorter. Supposedly hardy to zone 6 ..or 5b as a " die to the roots sotra - bush " so i think they'll grow where you're at w/ out much trouble.

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38 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

As fast as they grow, thinking they'd be tough to keep under control / shorter.  A bit different looking but Chitalpa would be easier to keep shorter. Supposedly hardy to zone 6 ..or 5b as a " die to the roots sotra - bush " so i think they'll grow where you're at w/ out much trouble.

Im ok with multiple pruning if that means I can keep it as a shrub because I really just want the big leaves and the flowers, Chitalpa is a very cute tree though I didn’t know existed and going on my list! I think they would be fine here since catalpa grows without dying back unless the cold tolerance changes?

Theirs some angles of the catalpa tree in my video and one photo from 2020, I wish I was on my computer right now cause I’m sure I have a better a photo of the whole tree.

I do love this tree though, it’s amazing in the spring when it’s just covered in flowers and then eventually they snow off and cover the ground

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https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZPR3yhNCS/

Edited by ZPalms
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I most certainly have a idea about this tree my said neighbour has one that has spread seeds and is a weed I have started weeding them out on my land now they grow extremely large and tall I have no photos at the moment but will post some for you 

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32 minutes ago, happypalms said:

I most certainly have a idea about this tree my said neighbour has one that has spread seeds and is a weed I have started weeding them out on my land now they grow extremely large and tall I have no photos at the moment but will post some for you 

That’s what I’m afraid of; I think it has cool potential as a big-leaf “tropical” looking plant, but I do not want it going crazy. If I can keep it chopped to a certain height, I’ll let it flower and then cut them off when they are done.

Excited to see the photos!

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I was looking around, and the tree can be considered a 'die back' perennial up in Vermont and New York, which keeps it shrubby. But in my case, I wonder if just snipping the tops off would stop it from shooting up. A side shoot may take over as the new main stem, but then I'd snip that too once it went over the height I don't want.

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Edited by ZPalms
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In my opinion they are a weed even sprouting from the roots of a tree that has been removed think twice about this tree although having a neighbour that has no respect for there neighbours property and letting things turn into a jungle is a different opinion from my point of view  with hundreds of cocos queen palms popping up everywhere is just another view for a discussion with my neighbour that is a conversation left better with a drum of herbicide 

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2 hours ago, happypalms said:

In my opinion they are a weed even sprouting from the roots of a tree that has been removed think twice about this tree although having a neighbour that has no respect for there neighbours property and letting things turn into a jungle is a different opinion from my point of view  with hundreds of cocos queen palms popping up everywhere is just another view for a discussion with my neighbour that is a conversation left better with a drum of herbicide 

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your probably right, I don't wanna even make a slip up and have this tree spread around, I'd rather have queen palms pop up at least I can give them away 😂

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5 hours ago, ZPalms said:

I was looking around, and the tree can be considered a 'die back' perennial up in Vermont and New York, which keeps it shrubby. But in my case, I wonder if just snipping the tops off would stop it from shooting up. A side shoot may take over as the new main stem, but then I'd snip that too once it went over the height I don't want.

Figure1.jpg

If you're constantly trimming to keep it shorter, you'll have a tougher time ever seeing it flower.   I'd keep researching other big leaved things that won't turn into a nightmare.

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Watch videos of UK tropical gardens.  They almost always have them.  They pollard them every year and keep only one new growing stem per year so that it keeps the big leaves.

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Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I say go for it. I've seen people maintain live oaks as a giant shrub, so this should also be possible. In a similar vein, I have some pear trees on my mother's property. Pears often grow too tall to access the fruit, so we started attaching small weights to the young branches. They bend down and harden off. After a few months, we removed the weights and the tree has a "weeping" form.

Woodville, FL

zone 8b

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It's a custom in the PNW to cut them to the ground every year. When they resprout in the spring, the leaves are enormous.

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Agree with @Silas_Sancona, in zone 5 or 6 it might be a tropical looking curiosity as a die-back perennial, but in zone 8 you will have an extremely fast growing, large tree that is a well documented invasive. 

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1 hour ago, aabell said:

Agree with @Silas_Sancona, in zone 5 or 6 it might be a tropical looking curiosity as a die-back perennial, but in zone 8 you will have an extremely fast growing, large tree that is a well documented invasive. 

Interesting mention..  2nd time i'd lived in KS, was dating someone who lived near downtown KC, not far from Westport.  Her apartment building sat nextdoor to an older, un-occupied commercial lot that had numerous specimens on -site.  You, (  ...and i ) ..would think they'd die back / get knocked down a bit each winter in such a place but many were in the 12-15ft height range. One, growing between that property and an older house to it's south was about 25ft in height.  A couple were growing out of cracks in the foundation / sidewalk on the side of the building that faced the building she lived in.. 

Thought they might be Catalpa until i got a closer look at the seedpods after what leaves were still on the trees when her and i had started seeing each other had been shed. At the time, had not realized these could grow that far north, even though i know i'd seen " Extremely cold hardy " listed for it in a book on trees i had received when i was ...14 or 15.

Love the big leaves ...and flower displays, but, ..no thanks.. Why have a tree if you'd have to be a slave to it  ...constantly trimming,  just to keep it " behaved " ...And likely missing out on the 2nd best part of having that tree in t he first place?    Not my idea of enjoyment,  lol ..imo.


 

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Just for the record it was not invasive in zone 9A Oregon.  There was one that I passed on the highway for 8 years that looked like it was a volunteer.  It never spread, and remained the lone specimen unlike the Tree of Hell (heaven) which self seeded with reckless abandon.

And I have not heard the Brits say anything negative about Paulownia either, even though so many grow it.

Edited by Chester B
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12 hours ago, Manalto said:

It's a custom in the PNW to cut them to the ground every year. When they resprout in the spring, the leaves are enormous.

I used to do this in 7a NJ.  Just leveled it to the ground every year and it stayed neat and tidy with big leaves.

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I personally don't mind a high maintence plant, my palms are already high maintence with the amount I zone push currently, so with this tree it's probably a few times pruning in spring and summer, so maybe it wouldn't be all that bad but if anything I can always do Gunnera manicata as another choice if I'm just feeling meh since that's another big leafy plant I wouldn't mind trying and probably less invasive and less work, maybe I'll try it but I'm gonna have to think on it

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1 hour ago, Chester B said:

Just for the record it was not invasive in zone 9A Oregon.  There was one that I passed on the highway for 8 years that looked like it was a volunteer.  It never spread, and remained the lone specimen unlike the Tree of Hell (heaven) which self seeded with reckless abandon.

And I have not heard the Brits say anything negative about Paulownia either, even though so many grow it.

Might look at this..

https://oregoninvasiveshotline.org/reports/detail/2204

 

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7 hours ago, ZPalms said:

I personally don't mind a high maintence plant...

Tetrapanax papyrifer should keep you on your toes.

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