Paulownia Tree

Paulownia Tree – Sept 2014


So after the summer break I thought I would start off with my Paulowina tree again. Phenomenal growth this year. The pictures really don’t do it justice.


Paulownia Tree  May 2014

Paulownia Tree May 2014



And now…. this monster.



Paulownia Tree 8 feet tall now.

8+ Feet tall now. It dwarfs my 8 year old.


What truly has amazed me is that I planted this tree in a location in my yard that received 10+ hours of our brutal sun. The 105 temps didn’t even phase it, there was no wilting or burning of the leaves. This is the Paulownia Elongata variety. I had some Paulownia Kawakamii seedlings that did not hold up as well.


Sweet Gum trees in Vegas?

First time I have ever seen Sweet Gum trees in stock at a store here in Las Vegas. The Lowes on Ft Apache road has two variates in stock the Liquidambar Styraciflua ‘Festival’ and the ‘Burgandy’. Sweet Gums are known for their beautiful fall foliage, that alone is reason enough to try one here in Southern Nevada


Festival Sweet Gum



Burgundy Sweet Gum


I have never seen one growing here, and there really is not much information about them in our climate. Sunset does not recommend them for our area, but it’s hard to trust them when they have so much stuff wrong about Vegas.

The closest I have found is an interesting article about growing this tree in Arizona here: http://ag.arizona.edu/yavapai/anr/hort/byg/archive/liquidambar.html

My best guess would be that it would do OK at the higher elevations in Las Vegas 2000+ feet or higher, which is mainly the Summerlin and NW parts of Las Vegas. It’s native range is all over the southeast so it probably takes the heat ok. Its the lack of humidity and our harsh alkaline soils that will be the challenge and this will require acid fertilizer supplements. They do get large and their roots are not friendly so if you decide to try one I would keep it away from your foundation and walls in case the tree does thrive. I wish I had more space else I would try one myself, I have hit the point in my yard where I don’t think I can add another tree of this size.

If you happen to have a sweet gum, or if you buy one of these and try it out, please drop me a line and let me know how it is doing.




Paulowina Tree 1

Paulowina Tree – May 2014

“Paulowina Elongata” Empress Tree


I have not posted any pictures lately of my Paulowina Tree that I planted last year. As of May this year it has grown almost 3 feet since it budded out in March. Pretty amazing, it did get a little beat up from the wind we have been having, but is taking full sun like a champ. We shall see how it does in a few months in the full sun with temps over 100 every day.


Click for some nice hi-res images.


Paulowina Tree 1



Paulowina Tree 2


I still have some seedlings of Paulowina Elongata and Paulowina Kawakamii for sale if anyone is interested in trying one of these pretty trees. They are currently in 1 gallon containers and I am in the process of moving them over to 3 gallon containers. Leave a comment if your interested and I will reply.


Links to more info:





Lemon Bottlebrush

April Bloomers

A couple a bloomers in my front yard. A Lemon Bottlebrush tree and my Windmill Palm.

Lemon Bottlebrush

Lemon Bottlebrush

Windmill Palm Blooming

Windmill Palm Blooming


A couple of exotic Palm Trees at home depot.

Home Depot surprised me the other day my having a couple of palms trees usually not sold in Vegas in stock. (Actually they are both Cycad’s but everyone mistakes them as palms and they are usually sold as such.)

First is the Cardboard Palm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamia_furfuracea

Cardboard Palm

A closer look

Second is the Giant Dioon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dioon_spinulosum

Cooler looking cousin to the Sago Palm (cycad)

Both come with a nice clay pot for $49. They didn’t’ have that many in stock so I suggest you grab one sooner than later.


Still Alive!

I recently watched the Croods with the kids about a month ago and one of the running jokes was that they were the last cavemen (caveman?) family alive and would yell that every time they survived some horrible thing. Well I think my little blog has survived me ignoring it for the last few months. I blame my wife, my project list for inside the house has been keeping me busy so less time on the yard. I could not hold out with spring in full force so more posts will be coming soon…


Below freezing weather coming!

If you have any tender plants, palms, and other items, I recommend you do some wrapping with burlap tonight since we are projected to go just under freezing the next few days.

For Palms you want to wrap the heart of the palm just below where the fronds come out. Wrapping to the base is usually not necessary. For other plants use frost-cloth to create a dome over the plant with all of the sides of the cloth touching the ground. This way it traps the heat coming up from the ground.

On a side note, this morning I saw a bunch of landscapers cutting fronds off my neighbors canary island palm tree this morning. I wanted to cringe, never cut your palms right before a freeze, even if you are doing so to wrap the heart with burlap. What you gain by wrapping it, you will loose by shocking them and exposing the inside plant tissue to the cold. Bad bad bad…

Tipu Tree at Moon Valley

Largest Tipu Tree in Las Vegas

I should preface this post “that I know about”.  It seems that the Tipu Tree gets quite massive here and I have been finding great examples around town. Why I am such a fan is that it is a beautiful lush tropical looking tree that provides a ton of shade. In mild winter years it will even stay evergreen. It also has a very high heat tolerance so they do ok as parking lot trees. In late spring/summer they boom pretty yellow blooms similar to the Jacaranda Tree.


Largest Tipu Tree in Nevada

Largest Tipu tree in Nevada, can be found in the northwest part of Las Vegas.


If you are looking to buy a Tipu tree, the only vendor that currently has them in stock is Moon Valley Nurseries, you can check out their website here. They even have a large specimen planted onsite at their NW Las Vegas location.


Tipu Tree at Moon Valley

Large Tipu tree planted at Moon Valley Nursery


I have posted in the past about this tree, you can read my last article below.



USDA – Zones 8b+
Sunset Zones 13-16, 18-27, H1, H2 (BUT they are wrong on this one!)