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Can anyone tell me what kind of tree this is and if it's edible? The green fruit/nut is very sticky on the outside if that helps.

 

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Sure thing, I have not found any infomation on the edibility of any parts of this tree, the seed pods do not produce any sort of edible parts like a hickory or walnut, I have heard that the dried seed pods were used to pack china in wooden boxes for transport, similar to the styrofoam peanuts used today. These trees can usually be found along railroad beds, readily picked out by the purple flowers in spring, and at one time the wood was highly sought for export to the far east, and thus was planted for investment opportunities.
 

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The wood was and I guess still is used to make musical instruments. About 25 years ago there was a rash of stealing these trees around the PA/MD line in Harford Co.
 

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Yes, it still may be of value, if you can locate a buyer, I also heard of midnight paulownia thievery, I also heard of people going as far as to rent helicopters to recon for it in the spring when it flowers.
 
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