Red Maple – For Shade

Q: Would an Empress tree be good to make shade for my grandchildren while playing outside? Is there another tree you would recommend?

A: Empress tree a.k.a. Princess tree, Paulownia tomentosa, is too coarse and weak-wooded to be a good tree in most landscapes. Besides dropping numerous twigs and branches during summer, in a few years you’ll see big-leafed paulownia seedlings sprouting up all over your neighborhood. I think red maple is just the ticket for you and the kids. Look for named varieties like ‘Autumn Blaze’, ‘October Glory’ or ‘Red Sunset’.

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