Q:

How do you care for a Chinese Empress tree?

A:

Quick Answer

Care for the Chinese empress tree by placing it in a good location, watering it regularly, mulching it and fertilizing the tree until it becomes established. Hard prune the tree every few years to encourage larger foliage and flowers.

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Full Answer

Start by placing a Chinese empress tree in a location with access to full or partial sun and wind protection. If located in a windy area, attach a stake to the tree to add support. The empress thrives in temperatures that fall as low as 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, making it suitable for much of the southern, eastern and western United States.

Plant the tree in well-drained soil, and work two inches of compost into the top few inches of the soil to keep it light and moist, especially in drier areas. You can also add mulch around the tree as long as it doesn't touch the base of the plant. Water the tree once a week so that the soil stays moist, and fertilize it only once a year for a few years until the tree becomes established.

Although the Chinese empress isn't prone to pest infestations, keep an eye out for white powdery residue on the leaves that signals a fungal infection. Only apply a fungicide to the tree if spraying the foliage with a strong jet of water doesn't do away with the problem.

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