an uncommon beauty
| The Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) is an uncommon beauty that ought to be used more often, especially in parks, commercial areas, and on golf courses.
Katsura tends to have a reputation as being delicate, but in areas where it is adapted, it is a real eyecatcher and an asset to the landscape.
The Katsura tree's delicate, heart-shaped foliage puts on a colorful and everchanging show throughout the growing season, emerging with an unusual bronze tint and gradually taking on a rich bluish green color in the summer. The two to three-inch leaves, shaped like Cercis (redbud) for which the tree is named, are borne on long reddish petioles and spaced in pairs along the arching branches.
Foliage stays fresh and crisp throughout the summer and then bursts into a show of fall color that ranges from yellow to apricot-orange. Like aspen leaves, they flutter in the mildest breeze.
This native of temperate zones of Japan and Asia grows in an upright and pyramidal shape when young, and becomes rounded with age, maturing to a height and spread of about 40 ft.
Katsura Tree is a reliable and trouble-free performer, with no serious disease or insect problems. It prefers rich, moist and slightly acid soils and does especially well in cool temperate areas such as the Pacific Northwest, coastal California and the mid-Atlantic states. It is considered hardy to USDA Zone 5.
Introduced to the nursery trade in 1865, the Katsura Tree has been around for a long time. Mature specimens may be seen in major arboreta in the U. S. and around the world, proving that it is suitable for growing in many areas, and should be included more often in landscape plans.
A weeping form is also grown. True to its Latin name, Weeping Katsura Tree, Cercidiphyllum magnificum 'Pendulum' is a graceful, magnificent tree.