The Royal Paulownia Tree or Royal Empress and its white-flowering hybrid the Super Select Arctic™ Royal Empress Tree, are big beautiful flowering shade trees that have been at the center of a debate for years. Simply because they are one of those trees that are great in some areas but can get into a bit of trouble in others.
So if you love the look of the big leaves, orchid-like blooms, and towering fast-growing form, but can’t have the Empress herself - Here are a few alternatives for you to consider!
Despite all their perks and their insanely fast-growing nature, it’s no wonder the Royal Empress Tree is a favorite. Paulownia elongata are not the invasive Paulownia tomentosa, their enormous root systems can still grow where they shouldn’t, especially when poorly situated. Plus, P. tomentosa can have seedlings and root sprouts come up everywhere.
Paulownia elongata has gotten a bad reputation because of their cousin and Nature Hills employs Plant Sentry™ to ensure we adhere to all State and Federal Agricultural Laws and not ship this Tree into areas where it will be any kind of an issue!
So if you are in one of those areas, or simply want something similar with fewer possible problems, check out these alternatives that also have great shade, fast growth, and incredible blooms!
The flowering Tulip Poplar isn’t a Tulip or a Poplar, but it’s all kinds of beautiful! Fast-growing and with incredible fall color, the Liriodendron tulipifera is hardy throughout USDA growing zones 4 to 9. The foliage has two lobes that make each look like a cat's silhouette and turn a brilliant, blaze-yellow in autumn.
Large, bi-color leaves (green on top and fuzzy brown below), fast growth, and big citrusy-smelling flowers, the broadleaf evergreen D.D. Blanchard Southern Magnolia Tree will amaze you all year round!
Impressive screens and specimens, Southern Magnolia trees are adaptable ornamentals that have majestic canopies and strong straight trunks with far-reaching strong branches.
The Burgundy Sweetgum (Liquidambar) features spring flower clusters that become persistent spikey seed balls that birds love! But standing back one will notice that the narrow Burgundy is a very balanced pyramidal tree that tapers down from a central leader. When space is limited, this modern variety is the right choice! The vibrant burgundy and purple fall color rounds out the season beautifully!
With big foliage and statuesque form, the Sycamore includes the native American Sycamore, Columbia, Bloodgood London Planetree, and the Exclamation!™ London Planetree. Growing tall and wide, these incredible shade trees are long-lived and have ornamental exfoliating bark that reveals multiple colors on the trunk and branches.
With a beautiful upright rounded form, the Ohio Buckeye Tree (Aesculus glabra) works as either a standout specimen or in a natural grouping. You'll be thrilled with the exceptional spring-flowering display. Also known as the Texas Buckeye, or Horse Chestnut, this is no "wimpy" tree. Everything from the corrugated leaves to the corky bark to the leathery, prickled nut husks looks strong!
For big trees that are just as gorgeous as the Paulownia Empress Tree, without getting into any trouble, you have many options! Check out all the large-scale trees available at Nature Hills and accent your landscape big time!