What is the Paulownia (Kiri) Tree?

4 min readJan 30


The Paulownia tree is a species of tree, also known as the Chinese poplar. It is a plant originating from East Asia. Mostly found in Japan and Korea, it is now cultivated in many other parts of Asia, such as China and Southeast Asia. With the title of the fastest-growing tree, the Paulownia tree is a great ally in the fight against deforestation.

What are the features of the Paulownia (Kiri) Tree?

Paulownia is the fastest-growing tree in the world. In just 8 years, the fast-growing Paulownia tree reaches the height of a 40-year-old oak tree. Paulownia trees grow up to 27 meters and live for about 100 years in good conditions. The trunk diameter is between 7 and 20 meters and they can sprout at least 5 times from the same trunk.

The Paulownia tree helps to clean the polluted air of harmful gases and particles, especially in large industrial cities. Paulownia absorbs 10 times more carbon dioxide than any other tree species in the world and releases large amounts of oxygen through photosynthesis. Each year, a tree community of less than half a hectare can absorb tons of harmful carbon dioxide particles and gases from the air. At the same time, a single Paulownia tree absorbs about 225 kilograms of carbon per year, helping to remove pollutants from the air.

The Paulownia tree adapts to different soil types and climates. For soils, it grows in any type of soil, although it prefers light and deep ones. When it comes to climatic zones and temperatures, some Paulownia clones can withstand temperatures of up to 45 and -30 degrees Celsius. Since it adapts to extreme temperatures, they are considered a great help against the desertification of the planet. The Paulownia tree has excellent resistance to drought.

Paulownia is a highly adaptable tree that can grow even in soils contaminated with heavy metals and toxic substances. By absorbing these substances, it helps to reclaim the land that is difficult to use for other crops, purifying the soil and the water in it. In addition, its nitrogen-rich leaves reach a width of 40 cm and when they fall in winter, they enrich the soil, acting as a nutritious fertilizer (humus). This is very beneficial for the ecosystem that the soil has.

The Paulownia tree has the potential to prevent erosion with its deep roots. This root system is why the Paulownia tree is often used to settle areas at risk of erosion, landslides or other such risks.

Termites and their derivatives are the only elements that shorten the life of a tree and also cause damage to the products produced from it. Another feature of the Paulownia tree is that it is not exposed to attacks by termites, insects and various parasites. Thus, the Paulownia tree and its products can exist for many years without damage.

The rapid growth of the Paulownia tree is a great advantage. Its timber is a very valuable tree. As the tree matures, its timber softens. It is fire-resistant and even lighter than bamboo, making it easy to process. For these reasons, this wood is used as raw material in a wide range of fields from ice cream handle making to pencil and ruler production, from furniture to coating. After cutting, the root structure develops stronger than before. For this reason, there is no need for seedlings again.

The Paulownia tree is considered one of the most beautiful trees in the world because of its pink mauve flowers. For this reason, it is mostly used as an ornamental plant today. Especially countries make a lot of use of this tree in landscaping works.

Why MFET Chose the Paulownia (Kiri) Tree?

MFET created the “Paulownia Trees Project” with various aspirations, mainly to reduce carbon emissions and to realize a green, dynamic cycle in the industry. Within the scope of this project, a “Paulownia Tree Forest” was established in Saruhanlı district of Manisa.

The fact that the Paulownia tree absorbs 10 times more carbon dioxide than other trees is a very important feature for MFET. By planting Paulownia trees every day, MFET increases the release of oxygen into the atmosphere and reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

One of the main reasons why MFET prefers this tree is that Paulownia trees grow to the size of adult oak trees in a very short time. In addition, its timber is also very valuable. For this reason, Paulownia trees are preferred for use in industrial activities. Thus, a clean interaction that is sustained emerges.

It is important for MFET that the Paulownia tree cleans the soil by absorbing harmful substances from the soil. The reason for its importance is that Paulownia trees adapt even to unusable soils and allow the planting of other crops. Thus, the Paulownian cycle, which is Paulownianized due to various negativities in the ecosystem, is revitalized and takes its place in the ecosystem.

Types of Paulownia (Kiri) Tree

After research and scientific data collected from all paulownia plantations in China, 9 different types have been identified, which are recognized on this day. These are: P. tomentosa, P. elongata, P. fortunei, P. catalpifolia, P. kawakamii, P.farbesii, P. austrails, P. albiphloea, P. taiwaniana (Huaxin, 1986; Ching, 1983). Among these species, it is generally recommended to culture Paulownia elongata, Paulownia tomentosa and Paulownia fortunei (Kays et al, 1992).

Among the Paulownia tree species, Tomentosa, Fortunei, Catalpifolia and Elongata stand out as popular species. These species, which can also grow in our country, are resistant to cold weather conditions. Paulownia Tomentosa can withstand temperatures of -25°C, Elongata -18°C and Fortunei -10°C.