facebook tracking pixel
  • rating star
  • rating star
  • rating star
  • rating star
  • rating star
Over 2 Million Happy Customers

NordMax21® Royal Empress TreePaulownia x 'NordMax21'

  • NordMax21® Royal Empress Tree

    NordMax21® Royal Empress Tree

  • NordMax21® Royal Empress Tree

    NordMax21® Royal Empress Tree

  • NordMax21® Royal Empress Tree

    NordMax21® Royal Empress Tree

  • NordMax21® Royal Empress Tree

    NordMax21® Royal Empress Tree

  • YouTube video player
  • NordMax21® Royal Empress Tree
  • NordMax21® Royal Empress Tree
  • NordMax21® Royal Empress Tree
  • NordMax21® Royal Empress Tree
  • NordMax21® Royal Empress Tree

* Images shown are of mature plants

NordMax21® Royal Empress TreePaulownia x 'NordMax21'

12 reviews
Flowering Trees

A cold-hardy variety of the world's fastest growing tree!

  • Grows up to 15 feet per year for fast shade and instant landscape impact
  • Frost-resistant and cold-hardy down to -10 degrees
  • Non-invasive and sustainable planting choice
  • Absorbs four times the CO2 of beech or oak trees
phone icon

Have questions? Talk with our Plant Experts (800) 973-8959

Save 25% on $200+ with code FALL25.

Questions? Call our plant experts: (800) 973-8959

The World's Fastest-Growing Tree for Colder Climates

The Royal Empress Tree is beloved for its fast growth, low maintenance and environmental-friendliness - and with this new and improved variety, you can grow it in colder climates, too!

Also known as the Princess Tree and by its botanical name, Paulownia, the Royal Empress Tree can grow up to an impressive 15 feet per year - making it perfect for gardeners and homeowners who want shade, fast. And with the new-to-market NordMax21 cultivar, you'll get the same fast growth, plus improved cold tolerance and frost resistance - this tree is hardy down to Zone 5.

When you plant the Royal Empress Tree, you'll get instant landscape impact, along with a flush of vibrant purple blooms in late spring. And you'll be helping the environment, too - this tree is a non-invasive, sustainable way to keep your yard cool and your air clean. Because of their fast growth, Royal Empress trees can absorb up to four times the CO2 of beech and oak trees.

Did you know: The Royal Empress Tree is commonly used as a sustainable source of wood, and it's strong, lightweight timber is used in everything from surfboards and guitars to interior design and construction!

Don't miss out - if you're looking for a fast-growing, flowering shade tree that can thrive even in cool climates, the NordMax21 Royal Empress is the perfect choice.

Looking for a different variety of Royal Empress? Check out the new PhoenixOne cultivar!

Planting & Care

1. Planting: Empress Trees are nearly indestructible once they have become established, but do require some care in their early stages of growth. Full sun and well-draining soil are essential to the health of the tree. Ensure you plant your Empress well away from foundations, sidewalks and other structures.

Plant your tree after the last frost, or when surrounding plants begin to bud out. For best results, mix in potting soil or soil conditioner, especially if planting in clay or poor soil. Make your hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball, place the tree in the hole, and spread the roots out evenly. Water the area to moisten/settle the soil and then broadcast a good layer of mulch to preserve soil moisture and keep weeds and grasses back.

2. Watering: When the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil is dry, add water. As a rule, let the soil surrounding the tree dry out before watering. If your tree is wet upon arrival, skip the initial watering for two days.

3. Fertilizing: Empress Trees love organic fertilizer high in nitrogen. Check to make sure the first of the three numbers on your organic fertilizer is higher than the others, indicating an extra boost of nitrogen (example: 20-10-10). You can fertilize twice a month in the growing season, and stop fertilizing before the tree goes back into dormancy. Additional fertilizing should only be done after the first year.

4. Pruning: Let your tree grow for one entire year. If your Empress Tree did not grow at least 4 feet before winter dormancy, we recommend that you cut it to the ground at the very start of spring (a process called "coppicing"). This may seem odd, but it will grow a bunch of small sprouts. Select the “alpha” of the bunch and pinch the others off. This will focus all of the nutrients into that one growth and become a very straight, beautiful tree.


Are empress trees invasive?

Empress trees are rapid growers and get a bad rap for being invasive, even though only one variety is classified as such. We sell a hybrid Royal Empress Tree that's not invasive - so you can enjoy the rapid growth and beauty of this tree without fear of invasive tendencies. Just make sure the tree has plenty of room to grow!

Is the empress tree toxic?

While the tree isn’t recommended for consuming, it’s not considered toxic to pets or humans.

How tall does an empress tree grow?

The Royal Empress can grow up to 50 feet tall and around 40 feet wide.

Shipping Details

Estimated Shipping Time: Most orders ship immediately. As noted on the website, some items are seasonal, and may only ship in spring or fall. Once your order is shipped, you'll receive an email with a tracking number.

Amount of Order Shipping Charge
Less than $49 $19.95

Product Details

Mature Height: 40-50 ft.
Mature Width: 30-40 ft.
Sunlight: Full-Partial
Growth Rate: Fast
Botanical Name: Paulownia x 'NordMax21'
Does Not Ship To: AZ,WI
Grows Well In Zones: 5-11 outdoors
Your Growing Zone: #
5-11 outdoors       Map

Growing Zones: 5-11 outdoors

(hardy down to -10℉)

Customer Reviews & Photos