The other day Himself went for a walk to the lake and when he came back, he plopped this big old tree leaf down on my computer!
As you can see... it is really, really BIG. That's a yard stick, not a ruler.
The surface was quite fuzzy and soft.
And the stem was hollow. He said it snapped off very easily.
Here's how it was connected to the trunk. (Don't you just hate auto-focus sometimes?)
Looking up through the canopy.
The trunk at the base.
And here is the whole thing. His walking stick is about five and a half feet high.
I had no idea what kind of tree it was. So I Googled "TN tree with huge leaves". Right away I found it. It's called a Paulownia Tree; also known as a Royal Empress Tree. Very interesting tree. It is native to Asia. It grows crazy fast - like 15 feet in its first year! (It is also considered somewhat invasive). It likes to grow in bad soil and full sun. In the spring there are beautiful purple flowers after its third year.
There was a smaller one close by. We're considering transplanting it to our yard.
Has anyone ever had a Paulownia in their yard? What did you think of it?