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Q: Chinese 'Tong' Tree ( No Answer,   9 Comments )
Subject: Chinese 'Tong' Tree
Category: Science > Agriculture and Farming
Asked by: carterk-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 11 Jul 2006 21:39 PDT
Expires: 10 Aug 2006 21:39 PDT
Question ID: 745485
Our daughter was born in China and raised in an orphanage in De Sheng,
in Guangxi province. While there, her caregivers named her 'Fu Tong',
which we were told means 'Happiness Tree'. Our interpreter later told
us that she was named for a specific tree, the Tong tree, which is
common in southern China and very beautiful. We wish to plant one in
our backyard in Seattle.

We visited a Chinese nursery and were told we were looking for a
'Toona' tree. There are many references to Toona trees on the web but
none I could find that list 'Tong' as an alternate name.

We were also told that in Chinese folklore the phoenix came to rest in
this tree. There is a web reference below that mentions a popular and
beautiful tree in southern China that is called the Phoenix tree: link
follows (scroll down)

I'm not sure whether 'Fu Tong' was a Mandarin or Cantonese name, or
whether it might have been in another dialect entirely.

What is this tree called in English?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Chinese 'Tong' Tree
From: tlspiegel-ga on 11 Jul 2006 22:20 PDT
Perhaps this will be helpful to you.

Notes: The wutong (known variously in English as the Chinese parasol,
pawlonia or tung tree) is renowned for its beauty. It was the favoured
perch of the yuan and luan birds, both types of phoenix.
Subject: Re: Chinese 'Tong' Tree
From: carterk-ga on 11 Jul 2006 22:31 PDT
Thanks, tl. You're right, that's a pretty good candidate- I guess I'm
still hoping someone can find something definitive. Counting the Toona
tree and the Phoenix trees, I have 3 reasonable possibilities and no
one of them is clearly the correct tree... tho any of them might be.
Subject: Re: Chinese 'Tong' Tree
From: frde-ga on 12 Jul 2006 04:33 PDT
Plant three trees
Subject: Re: Chinese 'Tong' Tree
From: josh888-ga on 19 Jul 2006 04:20 PDT
Your daughter's Chinese characters are then ??.  It is of Mandarin
dialect.  It indeed means Happiness or Blessed Tong Tree.  The common
name of the tree is paulownia.

See reference to Baidu.Com's dictionary below:

You may access the American Paulownia Association's website at this
following address for photos and information:

You may also purchase the tree from

Subject: Re: Chinese 'Tong' Tree
From: ismyle-ga on 30 Jul 2006 22:26 PDT
As a native Chinese, as soon as I see the name "Fu Tong", I am sure
what the two words are--"??", and I must say that it is really a good
name in the eyes of our native Chinese.
just as tlspiegel said, ? stands for wutong (Chinese parasol tree or
phoenix tree). this tree is widely planted in China for its beauty and
usefulness.Its trunk can be used to make furniture and musical
instruments, its leaves, flowers, fruits and roots can be used as
Chinese medicine.
There are many wutong planted on the both sides of the main road in
Chinese cities, and in the fall when its foliage falls, it looks like
a golden carpet covering the road.
You won't regret for planting wutong. believe me
Subject: Re: Chinese 'Tong' Tree
From: chinashenzhen-ga on 09 Aug 2006 07:10 PDT
not fu dong it should be wutong
Subject: Re: Chinese 'Tong' Tree
From: hardtofindanamenotus-ga on 23 Aug 2006 20:44 PDT
yes,wutong????tree is widly planted in china,
my college in wuhan city are full of that tree,
for it is useful in summer,
Subject: Re: Chinese 'Tong' Tree
From: lewuyang-ga on 18 Sep 2006 08:27 PDT
phoenix tree is just the english name of wutong in chinese
Subject: Re: Chinese 'Tong' Tree
From: susane-ga on 09 Nov 2006 22:49 PST
You ask the tree named "Chinese parasol",is a common tree in southern of China.

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