Paulownia is known in Japanese as Kiri and is referred to as the “princess tree.” In Japan it is customary to plant a Paulownia tree when a baby girl is born and then to make it into a dresser as a wedding present when she marries.
Very light, fine-grained, soft and warp-resistant, Paulownia is used for chests, boxes and clogs. Its low silica content reduces dulling of blades, making it a preferred wood for boxes to hold fine Japanese edge tools. The wood is burned to make charcoal for sketching and powder for fireworks. In the US, the wood is mostly used for water and snow sports products. It is a great carving wood and a substitute for balsa wood. Native to Japan and Korea.