The Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) is timeless, dependable and just exquisite with color every fall. While this tree has many highlights, the autumn color display is by far the outstanding feature. New foliage appears bronze colored in the spring, turning blue-green in the summer (gorgeous, in itself). But once the chill returns to the air, its heart-shaped leaves turn bright hues of orange, yellow and gold- a bright, fiery rainbow for your landscape! Plant it with more red or purple-turning trees, like Japanese Maples, for a real wow factor in the garden. For an added bonus: take a deep inhale of the fallen leaves in autumn- they emit a lovely, caramel-like fragrance! The shaggy brown bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape, as well.
This tree has a dense, pyramidal growth habit, especially when young. It grows slowly, maturing to 40-50 feet tall and 25-35 feet wide, rounding as it ages. It makes a wonderful shade tree and a stunning accent piece. It is easy to care for and is not overly susceptible to disease or other issues. It’s neat and tidy: a laid-back sort of tree.
Water the tree regularly, especially in its first season, and feed it in spring (after new growth begins) with a generous supply of all-purpose fertilizer. If you like the pyramidal form, help to keep it with a healthy pruning in late winter. Plant this bright beauty in the front yard, for all to see, or in medians and sidewalks strips. It works well in parks and golf courses and is an excellent choice to mark the entrance to a business or commercial building.
(Photos courtesy of Northscaping.com)