Down the gravel road, near the stand of mailboxes, goldenrod lines both sides of the road, while up here at the house, in the front flower beds, the Coreopsis palustris planted earlier this summer has put up a few yellow flowers. These fall colors are a welcome balance to the brown leaves that are piling up beneath the blackjack oak in the side yard.
Out past the car port, another tree has vied for attention. A forester who walked the land last year looked up at it’s large, broad leaves and suggested it was an invasive species. The Common Forest Trees of North Carolina book didn’t identify it. Uncle John, here for brunch last week during his annual pilgrimage to Raleigh for the bluegrass festival, suggested it might be a type of mulberry tree.
Maybe paper mulberry? I stood beneath the tree today with an iPad, comparing leaves and stems and bark. Not a mulberry.
Another search, and the answer: a Princess Tree, Paulownia tomentosa. To control this invasive, exotic plant, says NC State University, “cut down large trees with a chainsaw.” I have a new chainsaw, purchased just before Hurricane Florence, used once to cut up the red maple tree that came down with the thick, dead trunk of the yellow poplar that had been leaning agains it for some time.
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