Could I have help identifying a plant and how to kill it?

Asked June 21, 2018, 1:18 PM EDT

I live in Baltimore city near Johns Hopkins hospital (10 blocks away) and I have this plant/tree? that keeps coming back every summer. It grows in between some concrete and bricks in my backyard. It has huge 16" leaves and hard but moist and hollow trunks. I've attached a picture but it is from after I just chopped it down. It was about 7ft tall before I cut it up. Any help even identifying it would be great! Thanks in advance.

Baltimore Maryland invasive paulownia empress tree paulownia tomentosa trees

1 Response

This is a Paulownia tomentosa, also known as Empress tree. It is a foreign invasive tree and it is good that you are removing it: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/problems/paulownia-empress-or-princess-tree

The webpage links will give advice on killing it, but basically you can approach this two ways: Starve the roots by preventing it from renewing the roots through its leaves. In other words, stay ahead of the leaves and cut it down each time as soon as it tries to put out a new shoot. That should kill it in over the summer.

You can also apply a systemic herbicide (one that has glyphosate or triclopyr) to the leaves or just the cut stem, but if you only apply it to the stem it will probably take longer.

ECN