Nine-year results from a Paulownia field trial of three species in the Southern Appalachians.
Three species of Paulownia (P. elongata, P. fortune, and P. tomentosa) were evaluated for attained survival and diameter breast height (d.b.h.) after 9 years in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. Because species of Paulownia vary in their cold-hardiness and moisture requirements, the primary purpose of this study was to compare their survival and diameter growth under the temperature and precipitation conditions of a region where they had not been previously evaluated. Particularly important was comparison of the documented invasive species, P. tomentosa, with the other two species that have not been reported as invasive. Mean survival differed little among species and averaged about 28 percent overall. Mean d.b.h. of P. fortunei was 4.5 inches, which was smaller than that for either P. elongata (6.7 inches) or P. tomentosa (6.8 inches). Preliminary results from this field trial suggest little difference in performance among the species.