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PAULOWNIA

Paulownia tomentosa

Paulownia tomentosa of the family Scrophulariaceae

Also known as princess tree and empress tree, this is primarily an ornamental landscape tree and has the distinction of being one of the fastest growing trees in world, if not THE fastest growing (aside from bamboo, which is technically not a tree but a grass). The wood is lightweight, fairly soft, and easy to work although sometimes the presence of silica causes tool dulling. It is widely used for carving in Japan (the tree in indiginous to China and Japan but has been successfully replanted in the Americas --- some believe TOO successfully, and it is sometimes considered an invasive species)



my samples:


sample plank and end grain sold to me as empress tree / princess tree / paulownia / Paulownia tomentosa


end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of royal paulownia / Paulownia tomentosa --- HUGE enlargements are present


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of royal paulownia / Paulownia tomentosa --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of royal paulownia / Paulownia tomentosa --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of figured royal paulownia / Paulownia tomentosa --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


The Wood Book pics


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
paulownia from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for all 3 views

I assume that the images are so much darker than what I have experienced with the wood because of aging but the purple tint seems likely to be more an effect of the photography than a true wood color.



web pics:




slabs


planks with dubious orange tint


planks, all from the same vendor


planks


bookmatched plank set


planks and closeup


plank and closeup


plank moistened with water


turning stock


crotch slab


bowl shot at a craft store; color is accurate


princess tree bowls turned and photographed by Tom Pleatman, whom I thank for these pics and other contributions to the site. Big enlargements are present.