Paulownia is a flowering plant in the family Paulowniaceae. It is deciduous tree 12 to 15m tall, fast growing, with large heart-shaped leaves of 15 to 40 cm across, which arranged in opposite pairs on its hardwood stem. The flowers of Paulownia are produced in early spring on panicles 10–30 cm long, with a tubular purple corolla resembling a foxglove flower. The fruit is a dry capsule, containing thousands of minute seeds.
Paulownia species are found growing naturally and under cultivated conditions in several parts of the world including China, Japan and Southeast Asia, Europe, north and central America, and Australia. Species in the genus are extremely adaptive to wide variations in edaphic and climatic factors, and grow well on lands deemed marginal where it grows in regions from the plains to elevations up to 600m (2000 ft).
It exhibits a number of desirable characteristics such as rot resistance, dimensional stability and a high ignition point which ensures the popularity of its timber in the world market. For decades, Japanese craftsmen have utilized it as revered wood in ceremonial furniture, musical instruments, decorative moldings, laminated structural beams and shipping containers. Paulownia is also used in agroforestry systems because it grows fast, its wood is light but strong, its flowers are rich in nectar, its leaves make good fodder for farm animals, it is deep-rooting, and it is late-leafing and its canopy is quite sparse so that crops below it get both light enough to grow and shelter.
Why planting Paulownia?
- Fast grow
Paulownia grows to maturity in 4-6 years.
- Regeneration ability
Paulownia can regenerate from a cut stump and grow into another mature tree again in 4 to 6 years. This process can be repeated 4 to 6 more times.
- CO2 absorption
Absorb great amount of carbon dioxide during its grow cycle and reduce carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere, releve global wwarming issue.
- Excellent quality as timber
The Paulownia wood is very light where it is just about 2/3 the weight of the lightest commercial wood, stable and flexible, resistance to breakage and deformations, moisture resistance, low energy conductivity which produce a type of air conditioning effect when used as building materials and low thermal conductivity which is a potential fire foor material as well.