closer tree
closer tree  
QUESTION: I live in western AZ, close to the stateline of Nevada at Las Vegas. My neighbors have these 2 trees in their yard, and it is SO hard to grow trees out here, I would like to get one if I could since they seem to grow well and fast. Do you know what they are? Thank you, Linda

ANSWER: It is a little difficult to tell about the leaves but it looks like maybe a Box elder. But I am not sure. A closer picture of the leaf would help. I ma sure you have asked the neighbor and they do not know the name. The other thing maybe take a several leaves to a local tree nursery and ask if they know what is it. A Leaf in hand is better than a picture. Sorry that is about the best I can do with the pictures you sent.

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White Hills. AZ
White Hills. AZ  
QUESTION: Not so much a question as a closer-up pic. I know it's hard to tell, that is why I have had so much trouble identifying; also the wind and something is chewing on the leaves make them look raggedy! Does this pic help or do you think it is still a Box Elder? Very much appreciated, thank you, Linda

ANSWER: It is not box elder but not really sure what it is. I have sent it to a friend who is great at IDing landscape plants to see if he con ID it. Will let you know what he says. Did it have flowers and what color were they?? Also any fruit?

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flower on tree
flower on tree  
QUESTION: Here is a blossom of some kind, hope you can tell! Thank you, Linda

Based on the flowers and the leaves I think it is royal paulownia Paulownia Tomentosa or Scrophulariaceae Paulownia. Here is a link to more information on this tree.
If you want shade fast this tree will grow very fast and tall quickly.

Royal Paulownia is native to the Orient. It is also called the Chinese Empress tree, the Princess tree, or the Kiri tree. Paulownia is known for its extremely fast growth, clusters of showy and fragrant lavender flowers, large, elephant-ear-sized leaves, and extraordinary cash value. The major commercial market is with Japan. Paulownia is used to make furniture, gift boxes, bowls, toys, clogs, handicrafts, and musical instruments. The wood is also used for traditional products such as construction lumber, plywood, veneer, and charcoal. Paulownia was introduced into the United States as a landscape tree nearly 150 years ago and has since become naturalized in 33 states.

Very fast growing for yards in need of instant shade! This towering shade tree grows so fast-5’ or more a year- you’ll actually see measurable differences in just a few days! What’s more, you’re treated to lots of lavish lavender-blue flowers every spring. Royal Paulownia grows in almost any soil. Rapid growing tree (similar to Catalpa in texture). Can provide shade in a hurry. Known for its large leaves and foxglove-like flowers. 15+' in 4-5 years# Can grow as much as 5+' in a year# You can take a cutting from the end of a branch#about 12 inches long# dip in a rooting compound and put in wet potting soil or water and this tree will sprout well# After you get root  the seeding can be planted out where you want it#  

If my Botany friend comes up with anything else or confirms I will let you know but I am pretty sure this is what it is#  The picture of the flowers was the key for me# thanks#


I heard from my friend and he also says paulownia. Good luck with getting your tree started
Jim Hyland


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Jim Hyland


I am an expert in Forestry, Forest Entomology, Forest Pest Control, and Forest Health. Extensive knowledge in Identification of insects and diseases of trees. Expert on Bark beetles and other insects that attack forests. Also a Registrated Forester with extensive knowledge in the management and care of forests.


34 years as State Pest Management Chief in a Southern state. Extensive knowledge in Forestry.

BS with major in Forest Management and Entomology
Registered Forester
Certified Pesticide Appicator

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