How to Plant an Empress Tree


The empress tree is a fast-growing, woody tree that can reach mature heights up to 50 feet. This tolerant tree adapts quickly to soil variations and climate changes. The empress tree, also known as the Royal Paulownia, produces heart-shaped, velvety-green foliage with large showy purple flowers that bloom in fragrant clusters. This persistent tree perseveres through drought periods and cold weather. Commonly used for its wood, the empress tree will quickly re-grow after being cut down to stump.

Step 1

Choose a planting location for the empress tree. Ensure that the location is well-drained and provides at least eight full hours of direct sunlight. Select a location on top of a slope or hill, if possible, and plant the tree facing south to promote the ideal sun conditions.

Step 2

Prepare and plant the empress tree immediately after purchase. Plant the tree approximately six weeks before the final frost.

Step 3

Remove the empress tree from its bindings and gently loosen the excessive soil from the root system. Handle the tree carefully to prevent injury to the root system.

Step 4

Dig a hole for the empress tree. Create a deep hole that is about twice the depth and width of the root system. Loosen any compacted soil.

Step 5

Position the empress tree in the center of the hole and begin to lay the soil around its roots. Fill the hole half way with soil and then water the hole thoroughly to remove air pockets. Fill the hole the rest of the way with soil. Build up the final planting surface so that the planting surface is slightly elevated from the surrounding soil.

Step 6

Provide the newly planted tree with one to one and a half inches of water immediately after planting. Continue to irrigate the empress tree approximately every seven days for the first month to promote a good establishment.


  • University of Kentucky: Paulownia - A Guide to Establishment and Cultivation
  • University of Tennessee: Paulownia
  • Tree Help: How to Plant a Tree
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: Paulownia tomentosa
Keywords: planting empress tree, Royal Paulownia, planting paulownia

About this Author

Charmayne Smith is a business professional and freelance writer. She has worked in management for successful organizations since 1994. Smith draws on her business background to write articles, and her work has appeared in a variety of online outlets. She holds a degree in business from Cleveland State University.