General Discussion:

Catalpa tree information?


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
LobotoMe19-Apr-03 01:28 PM EST 5b   
LobotoMe19-Apr-03 01:50 PM EST 5b   
Lindy19-Apr-03 03:21 PM EST 8a   
Susan19-Apr-03 03:52 PM EST 6a   
Cheryl19-Apr-03 04:26 PM EST 5b   
LobotoMe19-Apr-03 05:59 PM EST 5a   
Vic19-Apr-03 08:18 PM EST 2b   
JoanneS21-Apr-03 02:43 PM EST 3a   
Ann22-Apr-03 07:27 PM EST 5a   
Vic23-Apr-03 08:43 AM EST 2b   
JoanneS28-Apr-03 03:08 PM EST 3a   
Vic zone 2b28-Apr-03 03:58 PM EST   
gwen in victoria29-Apr-03 05:46 AM EST 8a   
d osborne30-Apr-03 09:02 PM EST   
JoanneS01-May-03 12:40 PM EST 3a   
Vic01-May-03 03:50 PM EST 2b   
Captainsteve27-May-03 02:51 AM EST 9a   
Susan27-May-03 08:10 AM EST 6a   
Vic27-May-03 12:09 PM EST 2b   
Marie01-Jul-03 12:55 PM EST   
Rocks02-Jul-03 12:35 AM EST 6b   
Annette17-Aug-04 07:25 AM EST 4b   
Patricia 17-Aug-04 04:31 PM EST 5   
Rocks18-Aug-04 04:59 AM EST 6b   


Subject: Catalpa tree information?
From: LobotoMe
Zone: 5b
Date: 19-Apr-03 01:28 PM EST

As I take walks, I see big old trees in some neighbourhoods that intrigue me. The have HUGE medium green leaves and the closest thing I saw online was the Catalpa tree. The problem is, the searches say it's a southern tree? Now I know I am not from the south and these trees or a similar tree grow here. Does anyone know any tree that would resemble the Catalpa that I describe? I have seen these little umbrella trees that have a similar shaped and sized leaf, but I want to grow a large one. If it IS a catalpa that I am seeing, does anyone also know how fast the growth is and it's requirements? Thanks


Subject: Catalpa tree information?
From: LobotoMe
Zone: 5b
Date: 19-Apr-03 01:50 PM EST

As I take walks, I see big old trees in some neighbourhoods that intrigue me. The have HUGE medium green leaves and the closest thing I saw online was the Catalpa tree. The problem is, the searches say it's a southern tree? Now I know I am not from the south and these trees or a similar tree grow here. Does anyone know any tree that would resemble the Catalpa that I describe? I have seen these little umbrella trees that have a similar shaped and sized leaf, but I want to grow a large one. If it IS a catalpa that I am seeing, does anyone also know how fast the growth is and it's requirements? Thanks


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Lindy
Zone: 8a
Date: 19-Apr-03 03:21 PM EST

LobotoMe...the Indian bean tree (soutnern Catalpa) has leaves to 10 in. long and white flowers followed by the pods. They grow to 50 ft. Hardy zones 5-9. The Chinese Catalpa is smaller - to 30 ft, also zones 5-9, yellowish flowers. They like fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Pruning group 1. Shelter from strong winds.


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 19-Apr-03 03:52 PM EST

The most common catalpa around Ontario is, I think, Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa). It is hardy to zone 5 and maybe to zone 4. There's a rounded smaller form of the Southern Catalpa named Catalpa bignonoides 'Nana' but, for impressive flowers, the Northern Catalpa is the one - but it's a very big tree at maturity so you need a big lot to grow these trees. Another big flowering tree is Horse Chestnut - it blooms in May vs. June-July for Catalpa but has a similialy showy flower display. It comes in either white flowering types or pink flowering types. It is also a big tree. The catalpas have long bean pod like seed pods after flowering while the horse chestnut has spiny balls (that little boys like to play with/throw at each other!)

Both trees grow at about 18" a year when young but slow down as they age. They are both 50'+ at maturity, about 30' wide and cast dense shade (because their leaves are so big). Horse chestnut frequently suffers from leaf scorch in doughts. Both are pretty tolerant about soil conditions but need full sun. Both produce a fair bit of litter when the pods/conkers fall - in late summer/early fall for the chestnut and fall through spring for the catalpa - the pods hang on the tree for most of the winter. Note that horse chestnut is not truly a chestnut so doesn't suffer from the chestnut blight that killed most of the true chestnuts early in the 1900s.


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Cheryl
Zone: 5b
Date: 19-Apr-03 04:26 PM EST

LobotoMe, Based on my experience with our Northern Catalpa: it's the last to leaf out - end of May early June, first to drop it's leaves, if underplanted it's beans can spear plants when they fall, have experienced weaker branches/limbs falling during heavey rain fall and high winds - we prune out weaker branches to redirect it's growth & to maintain form, it's flowers are beautiful and full of fragrance. If something was to happen with ours, I would replace it in no time.


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: LobotoMe
Zone: 5a
Date: 19-Apr-03 05:59 PM EST

Well you did it, I'm determined to get one now. I have a big yard that I want to have quick shade with. Considering that I'm already 41, I need trees that I will be able to enjoy shade-wise during my lifetime. I plan on having a shade garden, and Cheryl had given me a good warning which I shall heed. I think I may do some understory planting of the Catalpa with flowering shrubs in order to protect the shade loving plantings that I put under the shrubs. If any of you have anymore suggestions for me as far as nice fast growing trees... I'll gladly take them into consideration. At the moment I have 2 old maples that are shading my house but I'm not sure how long they will last. We bought this property last summer and plan on doing some construction on the house. They are planted about 15' from the house... so I hope we don't disturb the root zone too much. As for Space for the Catalpa? I have a front yard that's 80X80 (approx) so I think I can safely grow it. Thank you all for your quick replies!


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Vic
Zone: 2b
Date: 19-Apr-03 08:18 PM EST

In Winnipeg we have examples of two types of Catalpas. I am not certain of their exact names. One has a smooth, larger, medium green leaf with even edges. It has a colour that makes me think of tender butterhead lettuce. The other has smaller, darker leaves which have an irregular surface and more scalloped edges. This second kind has thinner pods than the first and seed that is at least half the size. In our city, the trees may experience tip die-back, and the trees I have seen are not more than 15 to 20 feet tall. My cousin's son has had the larger type for 8-10 years in the back yard of his city lot. The other type is downtown in the proximity of the Assiniboine River, beyond of a stand of river bank trees. The Legislature is nearby. This tree is part of the magnificent gardening display of the Manitoba Legislative Grounds.

These are beautiful trees that blossom in spring and bear interesting pods that dangle and clack all winter.

I harvested seed in fall and planted some at the end of January. They are now being hardened off and are about 10 -15 inches tall and lush. The tallest is from the tall variety.

This is an interesting tree for our zone. A month ago, seeds of these types were quickly snapped up at our Seedy Saturday.


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: JoanneS (jstraayer@specialty.ab.ca)
Zone: 3a
Date: 21-Apr-03 02:43 PM EST

Interesting. I've never heard of this tree. But if it grows in Winterpeg, I should be able to give it a go too. I may have just the spot.


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Ann
Zone: 5a
Date: 22-Apr-03 07:27 PM EST

JoanneS :- My Catalpa gets killed back badly every winter and is slow to start in Spring, so I am not sure it would be all that good for you.


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Vic
Zone: 2b
Date: 23-Apr-03 08:43 AM EST

JoanneS, the Catalpa is a rare tree in Winnipeg, and due to its tenderness, there are no guarantees. They are however worth a try as even here they can winter in some spots due I suppose to micro-climates. Interestingly, even apple trees that are known to be hardy here may or may not survive due to a simple choice like whether to grow lawn in the orchard or leave the ground bare. There are many influences in survivability.


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: JoanneS (jstraayer@specialty.ab.ca)
Zone: 3a
Date: 28-Apr-03 03:08 PM EST

Vic, I am a firm believer in trying just about anything in the garden. And even when I fail, I just think I haven't found the right spot yet. I am surprised at the variety of things we do manage to over winter on my block. I think it is the tree cover, the closeness of the homes, being close to downtown - whatever the reason, we overwinter rhodos, tender varieties of roses, I've had hyacinths two years running now, one neighbour grows a magnolia, and another was totally surprised to find english ivy doing very well under her leaf mulch. There are four of us currently "testing" a Kentucky Wisteria. Too soon to tell if any made it yet.

I'm going to start researching Catalpa trees and see if there is one that might work for me in 3A.


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Vic zone 2b
Zone:
Date: 28-Apr-03 03:58 PM EST

JoanneS, I am also surprised at what will grow in our zone, but the condtions for some of these plants has to be just right I think. Our winters are generally severe, as you know. My friends visited this morning and also mentioned about hyacinths being wintered outside at their mother's yard. Here I was babying mine indoors.

If you would like to try some Catalpa seed, I have two kinds and can confirm the names if you are interested. They germinate reliably in a couple of weeks +or-. I am very interested in having more individuals from my zone try them too (3 or2b). We have a plant exchange every year at church at the beginning of June or end of May. There are lots of Catalpa seedlings at home waiting to be shared at that event.


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: gwen in victoria
Zone: 8a
Date: 29-Apr-03 05:46 AM EST

Catalpa are gorgeous trees. I think they look so exotic. At the Victoria Flower and Garden show summer of 2002, I was bowled-over by a phenomenal purple leafed catalpa in one of the display gardens...one of the highlights and a very vivid memory of the show for me...I'd have one in an instant...zone-denial is a way of life for some of us!...gwen


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: d osborne
Zone:
Date: 30-Apr-03 09:02 PM EST

JoanneS, I have heard that over successive generations, trees adapt to their particular microclimate. A tree (or seed from a tree) from a warmer zone might not survive in your zone even tho' trees of the same specie are known to thrive in your area. Your best bet would be to find a local source for your tree (or seed) and to assure yourself that its' parents are adapted to your climate.


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: JoanneS (jstraayer@specialty.ab.ca)
Zone: 3a
Date: 01-May-03 12:40 PM EST

Vic, I am definitely interested in either seed or seedling. Can you get my e-mail info, or should I leave it here on the forum? I would be more than happy to cover the costs of getting these seeds or seedlings to me. Please advise.


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Vic
Zone: 2b
Date: 01-May-03 03:50 PM EST

I will be glad to e-mail you for your mailing address.


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Captainsteve
Zone: 9a
Date: 27-May-03 02:51 AM EST

I am actually zone 10. Sunny northern California. Moderate climate except Jan to March when its drizzily & a chilly 40ish degrees. Can the Catalpa stand hot summers (90s)?


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 27-May-03 08:10 AM EST

There is a Southern Catalpa hardy in USDA zones 5-9. Most of us here in Canada grow the Northern Catalpa which is hardy in USDA zones 4-8. We certainly get temperatures in the 90s F for periods in the summer but not for as prolonged a time as you would in California. Try asking in local nurseries about the Southern Catalpa to see it they carry it/think it would survive for you....


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Vic
Zone: 2b
Date: 27-May-03 12:09 PM EST

Captainsteve- We grow both catalpas in Winnipeg. The Northern Catalpa is in a somewhat sheltered backyard while the Southern Catalpas I have seen are planted near a line of trees on their south side and are wide open on the north. Needless to say they are somewhat exposed in winter. Our minimum temps occasionally reach minus 40C while we have plus 30-35C weather in the summer. Last summer, I checked my tomato patch one afternoon and it was 100F. We had a good crop. The catalpas are one of the last to bud here. Our apple blossom time is now nearing the end while the lilacs are now in full bloom. I will go downtown today to see if the Southen Catalpas have started to leaf-out yet.


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Marie
Zone:
Date: 01-Jul-03 12:55 PM EST

I have a three year old catalpa tree doing well except I have not had a bloom on it since the year I planted it ( its about 10-12 feet tall) its in sandy soil,sun Help! I want to know hoe to get it to bloom


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Rocks
Zone: 6b
Date: 02-Jul-03 12:35 AM EST

Possibly yours isn't mature enough to bloom yet. Have patience. I do know that if you cut it back every year(like I've seen some do in these parts), you won't get blooms. They bloom on the old wood. But when they do, they're beautiful aren't they? Ours are in full bloom right now, and putting on a great show. Hopefully yours will bloom in good time.


Subject: Catalpa tree seeds
From: Annette
Zone: 4b
Date: 17-Aug-04 07:25 AM EST

About 5 years ago I planted some catalpa tree seeds and they grew beautifully. I want to do it again, and can't remember what the seeds looked like. I found some seed pods, but they had fluffy seedy things inside instead of big seeds (I think that is what I planted before). Am I remembering right?? What should the seeds look like???? The fluffy things aren't growing.. UGH!!! Are there male and female seed pods??? HELP! ! ! !


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Patricia (iris1@rogers.com)
Zone: 5
Date: 17-Aug-04 04:31 PM EST

We have a four year old seed grown catalpa, about 5 to 6 foot tall, it had two flower clusters this year, its first year blooming. Just beyond the Ottawa fringe....


Subject: RE: Catalpa tree information?
From: Rocks
Zone: 6b
Date: 18-Aug-04 04:59 AM EST

Annette: The seeds of the Catalpa are indeed the "fluffy seedy things" inside the dried 'beans'. Don't know why yours aren't growing tho. Possibly they aren't mature enough. Are they from last year? I usually have tons of Catalpas popping up in my gardens from the seeds that blow out of the beans in the winter from the previous years crop of beans that crack open and blow out. The seeds are paper thin, if not thinner, and travel on the wind pretty well. I also don't know the answer to the male/female seed question. Anyone?

On another topic re: Catalpas...we have two mature ones (about 15 years old) growing side by side, approx 25 feet apart. This year, both leafed out and flowered beautifully, but now, one of them is slowly, branch by branch, losing leaves. They are yellowing, then shrivelling up and falling off, leaving a dead looking branch. There is still green under the bark on the defoliated branches, but I'm stumped. We've fertilized, and since it's been a wetter than normal summer, water isn't the problem. My question is, has anyone else in Southern Ontario had any problems like this with their Catalpa trees this year? Thanks in advance!


In order to post the forum, you must register to the site.
To register, click here.

If you have already registered, you must log in.
  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row