Paulownia

Paulownia farm

Common Name(s):   Empress Tree, Princess Tree, Royal Empress Tree, Royal Paulownia

We make our Cabin Bee House with wood from the Paulownia tree. Native to eastern Asia, this wood is fast-growing and harvested within 8-10 years. After a Paulownia tree is cut down, new shoots grow from the stumps of felled trees, allowing the root system to remain intact. Intact roots help reduce erosion of the forested area. 

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Additional ecological benefits include:

  • Paulownia is a woody nitrogen-fixing species, meaning it can play a valuable role in agroecological systems by converting nitrogen into usable soil nutrients. Paulownia is an ideal addition in areas surrounding plots of land degraded by mono-crop farming.
  • The large flowers and leaves facilitate the absorption of carbon. According to an analysis performed by NatureBank, at maximum growth rates, an acre of mature Paulownia trees can absorb up to 90 tons of CO2 per year from the atmosphere. 
  • When managed responsibly, Paulownia can be a sustainable wood option where lightweight yet strong wood is needed. However, Paulownia is an invasive species in North America and should never be introduced (planted) in foreign ecosystems without proper management! The Paulownia used in our Cabin Bee House is harvested and processed in eastern Asia - its native range.

This tree is not recommended for landscape planting as it competes with native plants for nutrients and shade. The canopy of the Paulownia produces a dense shade, making it difficult to grow plants underneath. Consider native alternatives for your yard or garden.

Paulownia outcompetes other plants for sun