We purchased a spindly, 3 foot high Royal Empress (paulownia tomentosa) cutting early last spring and planted it in our yard. The "twig" that we planted has now grown into a 5 foot high tree, with a 1 and a half inch diamter "trunk". This is our problem: Some sort of pest ate the upright bud off of the top of the cutting, and our tree is growing more OUTWARD than UPWARDS. We would like the tree to grow to it's full potential height of 40-50 ft, and have read on a paulownia growers website that if a tree does not reach at least 12 ft in the first season, one should coppice it (cut to the ground) and start over. We would hate to do this to such a thick trunk! The tree is healthy; some of the leaves measure 15 inches across. We are taking it out(when it goes dormant) of the confining circular planter it is in and re-planting it in the same spot with a good amount of compost. I have enclosed two pictures. Is anyone on here experienced with this tree? What should we do?