Should I cut down my empress tree?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

I recently found myself facing the same dilemma about whether to cut down my empress tree. After much research and consideration, I decided to share my thoughts and experiences to help you make an informed decision.

Firstly, let me give you some background information on empress trees. These trees, also known as Paulownia trees, are known for their rapid growth and beautiful blooms. They can quickly reach heights of 30 to 40 feet or more if left unattended. This fast growth can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on your specific situation.

One of the main reasons people consider cutting down empress trees is their size. If left unchecked, these trees can become quite large and may overshadow other plants in your garden or yard. Additionally, their extensive root systems can potentially interfere with nearby structures like sidewalks or foundations. In such cases, cutting down the tree might be a practical solution to maintain the overall aesthetics and functionality of your outdoor space.

However, before you make the decision to cut down your empress tree, consider the benefits it offers. These trees are known for their beautiful purple flowers that bloom in the spring, creating a stunning display. They also provide shade and can act as a windbreak, which can be beneficial in certain climates and landscapes.

If you decide to keep your empress tree, it is essential to manage its growth. As mentioned earlier, cutting the tree down to about five feet every autumn can help control its size. This practice is often referred to as “coppicing.” By cutting it back annually, you encourage new growth and ensure that the tree remains at a manageable height. It’s important to note that this may result in sacrificing the tree’s blooms for that particular year, as the new growth will need time to establish itself.

In my personal experience, I have found that cutting down my empress tree every autumn has been effective in keeping it at a manageable size. The tree regrows vigorously each spring, and I still get to enjoy its beautiful blooms. However, it’s worth mentioning that this practice requires regular maintenance and dedication. If you’re not willing to commit to yearly pruning, then cutting down the tree might be a more suitable option for you.

Ultimately, the decision to cut down your empress tree should depend on your specific circumstances and preferences. Consider factors such as space limitations, desired aesthetics, and the amount of time and effort you are willing to invest in maintaining the tree. By weighing these considerations, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and desires for your outdoor space.