The proprietary MegaFlora Tree ® is a hybrid-cross of the fast growing Paulownia tree with a North American hardwood tree. Effectively, the hybrid-cross tree has become a tree with a North American hardwood tree's trunk and a Paulownia tree's root system. This combination allows for very high growth rates (50 feet in 3 years) while increasing the density of the tree for greater biomass yield per acre.
The MegaFlora Tree's ® unique characteristics were evaluated in a 3-year growth test in the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain. The fertilizer used for these trees was municipal sewage sludge. Pictures of a MegaFlora Tree ® in Spain at various growth stages are shown at the right.
The MegaFlora Tree ® retains many of the Paulownia tree's characteristics, including rapid growth, a very deep tap root system with numerous lateral roots, a long, branch-free tree trunk, moisture content of 10-12%, and a water-based sap with a higher sugar content than resin based maple trees. In addition, the tree will re-grow from its stump after harvest.
Because of these unique features, the MegaFlora Tree ® can grow on marginal soil, and can also remediate contaminated soil to allow it to be used for food crop production at a later time. The MegaFlora Tree ® has grown in locations where nothing else can grow. It has survived and thrived in extreme snows and semi-desert conditions.
The trunk portion of the tree has the unique high-density feature of a North American hardwood tree, which equates to a much greater amount of cellulose and sequestered carbon. Each tree requires only 300 gallons of water per year from all sources (rainfall, irrigation, and/or subsurface water access). By the end of the second year the taproot could reach down to 50 feet below the surface to find its own source of water, minimizing or eliminating the need for surface irrigation.
By combining the strengths of the Paulownia and a North American hardwood, the MegaFlora Tree ® makes a highly economical feedstock for cellulosic biofuel and bioenergy production.