Nice post about Paulownia. Accurate and brief.
I would like to add some facts that I have researched and learned from
experience about these trees.
Wood workers tell me fast grown "works and mills" as good as slow grown
The wood is easily air dried.
Can be kiln dried extremely fast with out damage.
Does not wrap, crack, or split.
Is extremely dimensionally stable with changes in humidity.
Is fire resistant and is a very good insulator of heat and electricity
Is rot resistant. ( I have run no test on this but by observation it looks
equal to above ground cca treatment.)
While being extremely light it does have an excellent strength to weight
The market for this wood will rapidly develop in the US once a supply is
available. The market to the orient is a myth. China has 5 million acre now
and can ship to the orient a lot cheaper than from the US. By some estimates
there are 50 to 100,000 acres growing in US plantations now. Most under 5
years of age. I have no doubt that "when the wood is available they will
come." This is different than exotics of past particular in the processing.
The lumber industry and mills already exist. Besides a small bandsaw operator
can saw and dry this lumber. Of course a large mill could devour the whole
100,000 acres in a winter.
Look again at the above qualities and the uses are many.
Moldings, Picture frames, boat framing (already being done), veneers,
furniture making, outdoor decks without chemicals!!! Hey the Chinese even
make shoes of them.
I am a grower and consultant and will be offering the trees for sale next
spring. Hope the group doesn't mind a little plug.
mike richardson wrote:
> After having been introduced in this country many years ago as an
> ornamental, it was found that Japan represented a great market for
> paulownia. They use the wood for many items including small boxes and
> traditional wedding gifts and furniture. In the early 80's there was a
> boom in demand and the trees started being cut by the hundreds of
> thousands, even to the point that old ornamentals were being harvested
> by homeowners, or stolen from them. The boom market eventually crashed
> for awhile and the "paulownia fever" abated some. However, there is
> still a strong market for the trees and they actually exceed $$ value
> for veneer grade red oak, white oak, and walnut per mbf. I am a little
> concerned about the desire to rush the growth of these trees. I seem to
> remember hearing that the faster the tree grew the lower the value.
> Just FYI.
> Son of Richard
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