Royal Empress – Growth After the First Summer

As I stated in an earlier post, the Royal Empress tree is an extremely fast-growing tree.  I chopped it down over the winter, as I read that it will grow quicker if you do that after the first year, and it didn’t disappoint.  I planted it last fall, and it grew a few inches.  I chopped it down over the winter, and here’s what it looked like in the middle of April.

I was reading on a site that their tree grew 11 feet over the first year.  I didn’t believe it, but figured that if I got a few feet out of it, I’d be happy.  Well, it grew a few feet the first month, and then just took off.   It’s the end of August, and it’s probably close to 11 feet tall!  Take a look for yourself.


This happened during a summer where we got so little rain and so many extremely hot days (over 100 degrees) that other young trees died.

The Royal Empress tree is a quick growing tree that has huge leaves.  I’ve got some that are two feet in diameter!  It looks kind of strange while it’s growing this year, as leaves form all along the trunk, starting at the base.  In this picture, some of the lower ones have already fallen off.

In case you want to grow one for yourself, leave those leaves attached.  They are needed for the tree to get enough oxygen to grow.  Right above the leaves, though, a branch will start growing.  I just cut those off as they popped up, until they got high enough to where I wanted branches to start growing (just above my head).  The tree is just now starting to branch out to where it doesn’t look like a tall stick with leaves.  I can’t wait to see what it does next year!  Stay tuned…

New Year’s Goals – Progress Update – Seventh Month

We’re kicking butt with the debt reduction, but not so much with some of the others.  Here’s an update on my New Year’s Goals for this year:

  1. Reduce house debt by 44.11% (Revised target: 56.92%).
    Revised target: 43.36%, Actual: 43.16%.  I just realized that we almost hit our original target this month, and it’s only August.  The revised goal is a lot higher though, so that’s what we’re trying to hit now.  We went right back to the plan, as I fully expected.  We’re .2% below target, which is pretty much right on.  Here’s a graph of our progress so far:
  2. Run a 5k.
    I haven’t been working out much, but I think I could get back to this if I dedicate some time to it.  My neighbor said she’s running in a 5k on September 22nd, and I think I’m going to join her.
  3. Work out at least 2 times per week.
    I worked out 3 times this month, so I didn’t hit this goal.
  4. Add at least 2 products to
    I haven’t added any new products this month either.  With it being summer, I’ve been spending most of my time outdoors.
  5. Make our home  more energy efficient.
    Nothing this month.  But I’ve made some real progress in this area so far this year.  Just about the only thing left on my list is stuff in the basement, which isn’t as high of a priority.  I knocked this one out early.
  6. Participate in at least one bike race.
    I didn’t end up doing the Tour de Donut, so I’ll have to find another one to do later this year.

Having a one year old really puts a hold on most things you want to get done.  I’m back to where things are piling up on me again, and it’s hard to keep up.