En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Dead-appearing Royal Paulownia trees in Manteno, IL

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 02, 2009

From: Manteno, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Dead-appearing Royal Paulownia trees in Manteno, IL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Have two Royal Paulownia trees two years old.Last fall all leaves fell off. Have two eight foot toothpicks. This spring, nothing happening.Are they dead or will they come back? If they come back what can we expect? Can't figure where the branches will come from. Can you help?

ANSWER:

Please forgive us if we don't sympathize too much over the loss of your trees. See this excerpt from a previous question about the same tree, also coming from Illinois. 

"Paulownia tomentosa (royal princess tree), a native of China, is a member of the Family Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family). Mr. Smarty Plants considers it a weed!  Please note what Texas Invasives says about it: 

'Princess tree is an agressive ornamental tree that grows rapidly in disturbed natural areas including forests, streambanks, and steep rocky slopes.'  

It is also is listed in the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England, in the Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Working Group Least Wanted list and the Federal and State Noxious Weeds list."

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are committed to the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America, but to the area in which the plants are being grown. We suspect that, since it is a native to temperate parts of Asia, your customary winter weather and temperatures very likely are the cause of its demise. Kankakee, in Northeastern Illinois, close to the lakeshore, is apparently in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5a to 5b, where the average annual minimum temperatures are -20 to -10 deg. F. Please dig them up before they try to make a comeback. May we suggest some alternatives, all native to Illinois, and NOT invasive?

Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry)

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)

Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Morus rubra (red mulberry)

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush)

Sassafras albidum (sassafras)


Amelanchier arborea

Cercis canadensis

Cornus florida

Ilex opaca

Morus rubra

Lindera benzoin

Sassafras albidum

 

 

 

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Silver ponyfoot becoming invasive in College Station TX
May 08, 2013 - How can I control or get rid of an established Dichondra groundcover? I bought a few plants of D. argentea from your sale a few years ago, and in that time they've done really well in the area I plan...
view the full question and answer

Removal of non-native zoysia grass from Burgettstown PA
September 12, 2013 - What is the most effective method of killing zoysia grass? We bought a house that sits in the center of four acres of mature zoysia. It looks beautiful, however, despite our best efforts at "weeding...
view the full question and answer

Fighting Sandburs with Bluebonnets in Austin, Planting Bluebonnets in Caliche soil
September 22, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, In my continuing fight against sandspurs I've decided that if I plant a copious amount of bluebonnets seeds that the foliage will choke out the sandspurs because bluebonnets set...
view the full question and answer

Bald cypress causing problems in Spring TX
June 22, 2010 - There is a 50+ ft Bald Cypress growing near my property line. While the tree has grown substantial knees along the driveway and some as far as 35 ft from the tree in my flower beds, I do not see any d...
view the full question and answer

Pruning drought-stressed butterfly plants from Kerrville TX
August 22, 2011 - Due to the drought, our butterfly bushes have dead branches. Ordinarily we prune the dormant plants in winter, but can we cut back dead branches now?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center