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Community, Feature Stories, Home & Garden

A Story of the Tree That Will Save the World

A Story of the Tree That Will Save the World


Once upon a time, there was a native tree that grew in North America known as the Empress tree. People in the Orient revered this tree and, to this day, hold it in high esteem for its fast growth and quality wood.

The Empress tree is big—bigger than other trees; but, it plays nicely with other species, even though it has amazing super powers other trees don’t have.

Meet Wendy Burton
World Tree founder and CEO, Wendy Burton, is someone who radiates passion. Otherwise known as “The Tree Lady”, she has spent the last 17 years promoting the economic and environmental benefits of the Empress Splendor tree.

With every new season, World Tree’s partnership with farmers and investors discover ways to keep up the demand for timber without sacrificing our forests—with a tree that tackles global carbon emissions at the same time. When anthropologist Margaret Mead declared that “a small group of thoughtful people could change the world”, I’m sure the group she was describing included people just like Wendy.

Empress Tree
Empress Tree 1 year old
Empress Tree
Empress Tree 10 years old
Fastest growing hardwood tree in the world:
Grows 10-20 feet in its first year, reaching maturity in as little as 10 years.

Regenerates itself up to 7 times
after the first year of harvest—without having to be replanted.

Fire and insect resistant
Doesn’t respond well to chemicals, preferring fertilizers such as chicken manure.

Holds and absorbs 11 x more carbon than any other tree on the planet.
Draws down carbon from the air. On average, one acre will absorb 103 metric tons of carbon per year.

Produces fine quality wood
30% stronger than pine 40% lighter than other hardwoods.

Grows in poor, depleted soil
Elephant-ear-sized leaves make a nutrient-rich mulch that puts nutrition back into the soil.


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