Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Paulownia tomentosa
(Thunberg) Steudel, Paulowniaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

Reject, score: 7 (Go to the risk assessment (Australia))
High risk, score: 9 (Go to the risk assessment (Pacific))

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: mao pao tong

English: Chinese empress tree, empress tree, foxglove tree, karri tree, princess tree, royal paulownia

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Gray-barked tree up to 15 m high; leaves entire or slightly lobed, 1.5-4 (on sprouts "5) dm broad; calyx 1-1.5 cm long, rusty-pubescent, with obtuse lobes; corolla about 5 cm long, violet, with yellow stripes within, glandular on the outside; capsule 3-4 cm long"  (Fernald, 1950; p. 1273).

Habitat/ecology:  Roadsides, clearings and borders of woods.  "Seedlings colonize rocky cliffs and sandy stream banks, quickly invading after disturbances such as fire, construction...or floods.  The trees also cause maintenance problems along roads and utility rights-of-way and in gardens"  (Randall & Marinelli, 1996).  "For rapid growth to occur, the plant requires full sunlight, ample soil moisture and fertile soil" (Boroughs, 1991, cited in Csurhes and Edwards, 1998; p. 184).

Propagation:  Prolific seed producer, sprouts profusely. Mature plants can reproduce from coppice. (Csurhes and Edwards, 1998; p. 184).

Native range:  Eastern Asia. Often promoted as a rapidly growing forestry tree.

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island extirpated
invasive
cultivated
Parker, James L./Parsons, Bobby (2012) (p. 61)
Voucher cited: J. Parker & R. Parsons BIED107 (BISH)
Specimens removed.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 184)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 1200)
"Occasional in the vicinity of gardens, especially in pavement cracks or similar places".
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 184)

Comments:  Invasive in the eastern United States.

Control:  Additional control information from the Bugwood Wiki.

Physical: Small seedlings can by hand-pulled, but all parts of the roots must be removed. Large trees can be cut or girdled, but resprouting is a problem unless herbicides are used. Repeated cutting will eventually exhaust the roots.

Chemical: "Treat cut stumps immediately with a 50 percent solution of glyphosate or triclopyr herbicide to prevent sprouting.  On small trees a foliar application of 2 percent glyphosate is effective"  (Randall & Marinelli, 1996).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 18 MAR 2012.