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May 6th 2011    Tim Candler

    There is a Princess Tree down the slope in that part of land The Artist calls Robina Wood.  She likes to wander down there, especially after rains when the stream is at full roar and a person has to be agile to follow her because it is very steep and often slippery and can be dangerous.

    A Princess Tree does not live long.  Probably seventy years if it's lucky. But it'll grow extremely quickly and a good year can add fifteen feet to height.  It's origins are in China and there are those here in Kentucky who would consider it an invasive species, because a mature Princess Tree can produce twenty million seeds in a year, it  tolerates infertile acid soil and shrugs off drought.

     A Japanese or Chinese tradition has it that when a baby girl was born a Princess Tree was planted so it could be made into a chest when she was married.  And there is a host of such tributes to the versatility and wonderfulness of the Princess Tree.

    My own mind has often been impressed by the use of its seed as lightweight packing material for transporting porcelain. Then came things like bubble wrap, those polystyrene peanuts, plastic wrap, Clingfilm and on it goes into the nightmare of shipping and handling..

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