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What did I do wrong?



  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,475
    Think the first thing is you didn't write anything!
  • Sorry - first post - start again.
    I bought a paulownia ( foxglove) tree and in over 2 years didn't grow an inch. My garderner said we should cut it back to promote growth and the stem was found tom be hollow. We dug up the roots and there was no sign of new growth. It has been in a sheltered sunny spot and here in South Wales we have had some of the rainiest seasons for years. Before contacting the supplier, can anyone tell me what went wrong; two pics attached.
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,475
    edited 12 April
    I no nothing about these trees but to aid others you need to tell us where it has been planted and what care you have given it. Has it ever had any leaves.
    It's called the fastest growing tree but obviously not for you!
    There are a few photos and a YouTube video of the trunk and some have holes.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 24,929
    Looks to me like it was pot bound as the roots seem very cramped and circular/spiral in their formation .   I would suggest taking it back to teh supplier as  think it's abit young to be having a hollow centre.

    I have one of these planted nearly 18months ago.  It was give me as a bare root baby, about 2m high and just dug out by the owner of the parent tree.  We planted it in a square hole, as advised by the RHS now to encourage roots to grow out into the soil and not round and round as tho in a pot and it has thrived.   

    Not grown a huge height but is definitely taller and there are new buds forming on the main trunk which will become new stems to thicken up its crown.   We had heatwaves and droughts last year so I watered regularly thru the first growing season but it's on its own this year.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks for your prompt replies.
    The tree was 1.7 m high and planted in November 2018 in a south west facing sheltered spot. Living less than a mile to the sea we rarely get any serious frost. The instructions on planting given were that the roots were not to be teased out which surprised me. It grew 8 leaves in its first season and 12 in the second - all on the top two branches and no sign of new shoots or buds yet this year. Do you know if the hollow centre is purely caused by lack of nourishment or could it be diseased in some way? I'll get back to the supplier ( I did this last year with no satisfactory explanation other than wait a couple of more years) but expect them to say I was negligent in some way.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 24,929
    If it was OK the last 2 years why did you cut it?   Mine is only just showing buds and is nowhere near in full leaf so yours may well have been just a week or two behind.

    Loads of my trees are shrubs are only just showing teeny bits of leaf peeping out form buds and I've been going round telling them to hold on till this frosty spell is over so they don't lose their new foliage.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • SophieKSophieK Wimbledon, LondonPosts: 237
    edited 12 April
    The hollow centre is one of the particularities of the Paulownia so really don't worry about it, it's absolutely normal. 

    I live in London, so "warm" climate (except for the snow this morning), I have two young paulownia trees and buds are only starting to emerge now. That being said, they are planted in the ground. As it is a fast growing tree, if you have it in a pot, it will need to be very large to accommodate the growing roots. When you plant it again, be it in the ground or a pot, make sure it has plenty of rich compost (I would suggest a mix of John Innes No3 with compost and well rotted manure), it's a heavy feeder. Add some mycorrhizal fungi to the roots to help it along.

    Don't give up!
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 9,244
    Unless you want a fairly ugly large tree, you need to stool them every Spring, which encourages the giant leaves.
    Too many hands in too many pockets
    Not enough hands on hearts
    Too many ready to call it a day
    Before the day starts
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast East YorkshirePosts: 1,047
    I grow these and yes they do have hollow stems. We bought ours as 2ft saplings, 1 grew in a nice sheltered spot and this will be it's 3rd summer and is currently about 15ft high and due to be polled shortly. 2 others were in exposed spots and got hammered by cold winds and I dug them up and potted them up for 6months to help them recover. They went back out last spring and are now about 8ft high so about 6 1/2 ft in a year. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 24,929
    Growing mine to get the flowers.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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