Paulownia is a very fast growing tree that is drought tolerant. Some species can be harvested for saw timber in as few as five years. Once the tree is harvested, it regenerates from the existing root system.
The root system of the Paulownia tree runs deep and penetrates compacted and contaminated soils. The tree has the ability to reclaim ecologically stressed and degraded patches of land relatively quickly. It is a phyto-remediator – it can increase the organic content of degraded soils, processing contaminants through the intake into its vascular system.
Paulownia wood is fine-grained, and warp resistant. It is a lightweight hardwood with an excellent weight to strength ratio, giving it many uses:
- It is used to make boxes, furniture, and clogs.
- It is exceptionally suited for making surfboards and unlike Balsa surfboards it does not need to be glassed.
- Its appearance, resonance, and light weight make it highly sought after by high quality guitar makers.
- It has great value in the construction industry.
- It is burned to make charcoal for sketching, and the powder is used in fireworks.
- It has a naturally low level of turpentine and oils in its fibers, making the wood fire resistant.
The Paulownia tree also has other uses:
- The bark can be used to make dye.
- The leaves are good fodder for livestock, and can be used to make vermicide.