Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Big Paulownia Tree Should Have Flowered by Now

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Big Paulownia Tree Should Have Flowered by Now

Article excerpt

Q * I have a 25-foot, 5-year-old Paulownia tree. We've groomed it to spread like an umbrella. I am waiting for it to flower (when does it?). This year the tips have developed pea-sized, green berry-type growths. I was hoping it was finally flowering, but the "peas" open into multiple tiny, elongated leaf formations. I've never seen anything like it on my tree. What is it?

A * I suspect the pea-size growths you describe were growth buds observed just before they burst open into new leaves and stems, rather than flower buds. Actually, I'm surprised that a 5-year-old Paulownia of your size has not yet flowered. Here at Missouri Botanical Garden, they typically flower in April.

Paulownia is susceptible to cold-weather injury however, from not only winter low temperatures in the single-digit or sub-zero range, but also late spring frosts, which might kill flower buds that are present near the tips of branches throughout winter. …

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