An awareness of the natural connection can beautifully enhance our lives. My mother on the other hand "hate those stupid beans, I pick them up all summer and those woooorms are just, ooh ugh" as my mom would put it. The tree grew very fast. Threatened and Endangered Information: This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. As for nature and people - which is the metaphor? Tree of the Week showcases some of the biggest and most beautiful trees in the GTA, as compiled by Megan Ogilvie.Here, three Star readers tell us about their beloved northern catalpa … I ignore emails with these sorts of questions. Great tree for xeriscopes. If the showy, orchid-like, white flower with interior purple and yellow spotting doesn’t grab one’s attention, the sweet smell it produces will, also captivating hummingbirds and bees alike. Lexington: University of Kentucky, 1973. It is a good shade tree that grows fast and thrives pretty much in any condition – poor soil, inadequate drainage, drought – a frequent choice for naturalizing. My take on the fresh scent was obvious and sweet. The soil pH may range from 5.5 to 7.0. Habitat. I find the grain is kind of ash-like, although the wood is darker and does not have any other characteristics of ash. It is 85 feet tall with a spread of 81 feet and a circumference of 290 inches at 4.5 feet above ground level. How they developed that fondness before anglers brought the two together is beyond me, though. We had a catalpa tree at out other house and loved it, so we planted one at our new house. Collingwood, G. H., Warren David Brush, and Devereux Butcher. northern catalpa recorded is in Indiana. I have studied native trees for many years. Tree size - This catalpa is a vigorous grower reaching 60 feet in height at maturity with a 40-foot spread. The flowers are followed by 8- to 20-inch bean-like seed pods that turn brown in the fall. Hope we all have those kind in our lives. Range & Habitat: Northern Catalpa is an uncommon tree in natural areas; it is native to southern and southeastern Illinois, while in other areas of the state it has escaped from cultivation (see Distribution Map).Originally, this tree was native to a small region of the mid-Mississippi valley. The Northern Catalpa Tree … Herbert S. Zim. The Trees of North America. Catalpas prefer moist, deep, well drained soil, but adapts to dry or wet soils. The large size of the leaves provides a very dark shade and is a popular habitat for birds. Buffalo, NY: Firefly, 2000. Benvie, Sam. As our communities become more urbanized, the natural features around us tend to get pushed into the background and often go unnoticed. Also, its winged seeds have long hairs at the wingtips. I never knew they were called "Ca-tal-pas" until later in life.Finally, as I recall, the "worms" were a bit smaller than tomato worms and brightly colored - greenish-yellow with black vertical stripes, I think. Hope the neighbors don't hate us too much...lol. Catalpa ovata from China, with pale yellow flowers, is also planted outside its natural range for ornamental purposes. Trees for American Gardens. Trees of Missouri. Photos and text copyright © 2006 - 2013 by Genevieve L. Netz. I love slabbing it, it's easy on the chains and it smells nice. What tree produces beans for chocolate? Knowing Your Trees. Catalpa speciosa grows much taller than Southern Catalpa and its panicle flowers are typically white. Common names are from state and federal lists. It is widely planted as an ornamental tree. Better to mulch them with the mower a little at at ime as they fall. Asked By Veronica Wilkinson. Trees and Shrubs of Kentucky. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Catalpa speciosa is the Latin name for the Northern Catalpa. They originate from temperate parts of North America, Caribbean region and eastern Asia. New York: Book Division, Times Mirror Magazines, 1980. Settlers used the wood for beams. Fruit is a long persistent pod. Northern catalpa is associated with low ground along streams, rivers and lakes, often in the open. Elias, Thomas S. The Complete Trees of North America; Field Guide and Natural History. The northern catalpa is sometimes called a hardy catalpa. It has large, heart-shaped leaves and large clusters of fragrant, white flowers. Alas, it seems to have more cons than pros. My suggestion, plant one of these when you know what your getting into. – northern catalpa Subordinate Taxa. Portland: Timber, 2004. Northern has no scent, other than that moist green leaf scent; southern has one, described as “faintly rank.” The pair on Grant Street still have leaves but have dropped a lot, so now’s the time to smell it for yourself. There are two species of catalpa: southern and northern. New York, NY: Facts On File Publications, 1987. sc_security="32768369"; Photos and text copyright © 2006-2013 by Genevieve L. Netz. It is a softer wood, similar hardness to chestnut. Hardiness Zones: 4 to 8 Height: 50 ft Spread: 30 ft Form: irregular Type: deciduous tree Annual Growth Rate: more than 18 inches Flowers: White I used to go over there with my dad, an avid fisherman, and collect them. We have two huge catalpas in the backyard of our home of 20 years. Wharton, Mary E., and Roger W. Barbour. Randall, Charles E. Enjoying Our Trees. View Map. The other is Catalpa bignonioides or Southern Catalpa. They are so large and numerous and heavy that they become difficult to rake. It typically thrives in Full to Partial Sun and has a 13-24 Inches growth rate per year. When dry, they too disintegrate fairly well.The thing about the pods, though, is that they very much resemble a small, brown snake lying in the grass, Twenty years of getting used to them and I still get startled once in a while when I first see an isolated one that has dropped late.Also, regarding the catepillars, our neighbor up the road from my mom and dad's farm had catalpa trees. Luckily, most of the people I know and love have more pros than cons. When their time was over, however, the tree was messy and destroyed my Dad's sense of order in his garden. However, I am only a hobbyist. Ferida, You never fail to come up with some fresh topic to write about. The catalpa tree is a genus of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae. Catalpa is a Midwest native tree grows 40 to 60 feet tall, with a narrow, open, irregularly rounded crown and spreading branches. They wiil turn brown eventually, but shrivel up so much that the first time you mow over them they disintegrate.Same with the bean pods. Apparently it is a good nectar source for bees. Settergren, Carl D., and R. E. McDermott. American Wildlife and Plants. New York: Chanticleer, 1996. Martin, Alexander C., Herbert S. Zim, and Arnold L. Nelson. Little, Elbert L. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees. Facts. I am not a trained arborist or forester. Loved your comment about people, Claire! Although the leaves themselves are very noteworthy, the early summer flower and fruit that follows are what gather interest with Northern catalpa. Growth habit - Northern catalpa has a broadly colum-nar form. Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: an Illustrated Encyclopedia. Jan 2, 2013 - Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) is a tropical-looking tree with large heart-shaped leaves and clusters of beautiful white, orchid-like flowers. For massiveness, Northern Catalpa has the edge. The tree I found was a Northern catalpa, Catalpa speciosa. Thank you for a delightful read. In “Ferida’s Backyard,” I look at the details of nature locally, from a neighborhood perspective, frequently from a backyard vantage point. Long, cigar-like pods persist through winter. I don't know if the catalpa in these photos is a southern catalpa (Catalpa bigenoides) or a northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa). Catalpa speciosa The Northern Catalpa Tree grows well in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-8. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole, 1962. sc_invisible=1; Brockman, C. Frank. Another species of catalpa, caltalpa bignoioides is native to the south and is not quite as large or as hardy as Northern Catalpa or C. speciosa. Maybe they were destined to become moths or butterflies further South than I am now (Heyworth, Illinois). Diseases. In June 2″ long, tube-like white flowers appear in 4-8″ panicles. The tree sounds so intriguing, I, too, began to think of planting one. Introduced. This tree could have been the inspiration for the story Jack and the Bean Stalk. I don't remember for sure, that was a long time ago. These trees are truly beautiful. This large-leaved tree spreads 50 feet and tolerates hot, dry weather, but leaves may scorch and some drop from the tree in very dry summers. The catalpa trees have bloomed recently in Christian County, Kentucky. This plant has no children Legal Status. It is thicker than of C. bignonioides and hardly emits the smell that is so characteristic for other varieties. Once branched out the limbs are twisted and gnarled. I was excited to discover something so different just two blocks from my own backyard. I jut wanted to offer an opinion on your comment that catalpsa are messy. Edible fruit/nut tree? Thanks, Anonymous. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1988. Other names: French name: Catalpa à feuilles cordées. Answer: Northern catalpa wood is fine to burn for campfires and in fire pits. Like with any other wood, burning it green can possibly produce an unpleasant smell or cause creosote buildup in your chimney. Tree Type Mature Size The northern catalpa grows to a height of 40–60' and a spread of 20–40' at maturity. Grimm, William Carey. Status. It is the largest known tree of its species in the country as reported to American Forests. catalpa is less irritating to those sensitive to the tree’s chemicals, and is most often preferred to plant as an ornamental. Native habitat: Southern Illinois and Indiana, south to western Tennessee and Arkansas. I ignore emails with these sorts of questions. Latin (scientific) name: Catalpa speciosa. Cliburn, Jerry, and Ginny Clomps. The catalpa is the favored home/food of a certain caterpillar, though -- a caterpillar for which catfish have a great fondness. They’re native to warm temperate regions of North America, the Caribbean, and East Asia.There are two North American species, and the one we have here in Virginia is Catalpa speciosa or Northern Catalpa. Northern Variety . It reached the roof line and began to shade in summer. Flower and fruit - Loose, upright panicles of fragrant white, 2-inch bell-shaped ﬂ owers appear on branch Names. This champion Northern Catalpa of Ohio made its debut on the National Register of Champion Trees in 2020. The northern catalpa can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 4–8. The catalpa moth caterpillar, Ceratomia catalpae, is widely regarded as one of the best live baits, and the tree may be planted strictly for this purpose, and has earned the tree common names of worm tree, or bait tree. ... Why don't libraries smell like bookstores? I guess it depends. It is found in USDA Zones 4-8, whereas the southern catalpa prefers Zones 5-9. There are two species in North America, the northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa), which has larger leaves, flowers and bean pods; and the southern species which bears little difference except in size.They both bear large heart shaped 3 lobed leaves. Although it has naturalized in many […] What a wonderful commentary! It was just gorgeous in the spring when it bloomed, huge puffs of fragrant white flowers. The best way to tell northern from southern catalpa is to crush a leaf and smell it. Do not republish without written permission. I loved climbing that tree, nesting in its low branches and watching the birds flutter about. How to grow a black walnut tree from seed, Trees that will grow near black walnut and buttercup. I was seven years old when the tree was planted, and twelve when my folks cut it down. Once full grown they can reach a height of 40-70 Feet and 20-50 Feet in spread. A tree from the United States of America where it is found in open forests. The flower aroma drifted through the deck/porch, into the house, down under the deck into the basement and stretched to the pool, all depending on breeze of-course. I do not provide tree identifications, and I do not recommend trees to plant. I had never heard of this tree either--and loved your comparison of it to people. As for burning it in a wood stove it's best to season it first. Northern catalpa is very adaptable to adverse conditions, but has weak wood and branch structure. Dad called them "Ka-tau-bee worms". Deciduous. Ed. The huge old caltalpa trees sprinkled throughout NH are evidence that it is a tough tree that can survive our harsh, cold climate. A Key to Missouri Trees in Winter: An Identification Guide. It might have been from unfortunate caterpillars who lost their grip and fell into the water from catalpa leaves, do you think? New York: McGraw Hill, 1951. Catalpa speciosa, also called the northern catalpa or cigar tree, features a loose oval leaf shape and can grow up to 50 feet tall in most urban locations—occasionally up to 90 feet under optimum conditions. Northern Catalpa Catalpa speciosa Description & Overview Northern Catalpa is a tall shade tree with large, heart-shaped leaves and gorgeous, fragrant white flowers. All rights reserved. is an excellent light hardwood with a large percentage of heartwood. Northern catalpa is a medium to large deciduous tree native to the United States that survives in USDA Hardiness zones of 4-8. Previously Viewed. I have cut up several hundred board feet of city catalpa over the past couple years. I knew this because crushing the leaves produced no bad odor as would happen if it was a Southern catalpa, or Catalpa bignonioides. The Northern . Dad also used them for catfish bait. Trees of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Although northern catalpa can have several diseases and pests, most are usually minor and pose no serious threat. "Ka-tau-bee" being the local pronunciation I guess in Southern-central Illinois. The long, interesting seed pods persist through the winter. This was my first protest and realization that I was a tree lover. saraTM / Getty Images. Sternberg, Guy, and James W. Wilson. It excites me to share what I see. Because the wood resists rot, it can also be shaped into long-lived fence posts. The Northern Catalpa is a fast growing tree. Portland, Or. They have a face only a mother could love. Catalpa speciosa (Warder) Warder ex Engelm. Do not republish without written permission. Tree size: This catalpa is a vigorous grower, reaching 40 to 60 feet in height at maturity with a 20- to 40-foot spread. Northern catalpa is slightly larger and has bigger leaves, flowers and fruit. NO. Wyman, Donald. Native Trees for North American Landscapes: from the Atlantic to the Rockies. It prefers an open sunny space to partial shade. We had a catalpa tree in our back yard as I was growing up. The blossoms are spectacular and form a white snow-like ring around the tree as they fall. Catalpa grows well in different types of soil, can withstand extremely hot, dry conditions and transplants easily. Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri, 1980. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1978. I loved that tree until my dad chopped it down to plant a common red maple. Mitchell, Alan F., and David More. sc_partition=20; Catalpa is deciduous tree that belongs to the Bignonia family. The catalpa tree is also known as catawba tree, bean tree, cigar tree, … : Timber, 1997. Northern and southern catalpas are very similar in appearance, but the northern species has slightly larger leaves, flowers, and bean pods. I do not give advice about tree diseases, parasites, etc. Northern catalpa is distinguished from its cousin, southern catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides) by its leaves, which taper gradually to a point rather than a sharp ( acuminate) tip and do not smell pungent. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1969. Your local cooperative extension service is a great place to get free, specific advice about the trees of your area. Encyclopedia of North American Trees. Smell the leaves (this might give you a clue) ... Catalpa, page 14 compound leaves Box elder, page 13 Ash, page 14 Buckeye, page 14 If alternate, start here simple leaves Many species compound leaves Hickory, page 22 ... Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) Northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) Return to our Trees of Canada resource here: Trees of Canada → Type. Dirr, Michael. New York: Macmillan, 1965. sc_project=2272630; The pool was west, the house was east, a 2nd story deck was north and open yard with grass was south. Tree Notes is about trees -- especially native trees, trees for wildlife, and trees in history. Growth Rate This tree grows at a medium to fast rate, with height increases of anywhere from 13" to … A northern catalpa G. Lumis: Leaves and flower of a northern catalpa G. Lumis: Seed pods of a northern catalpa G. Lumis: Scientific Name: Catalpa speciosa. My parents planted this tree next to a concrete walkway that connected the back door of the house to the front gate of an in ground swimming pool. Catalpa speciosa – Western Catalpa, Northern Catalpa, Hardy Catalpa. All rights reserved. Common Name: northern catalpa Scientific Name: Family: Bignoniaceae Genus: Catalpa Species: speciosa Hardiness Zone: 4 to 8 Height: 40 to 70 ft Width: 20 to 50 ft Description: The northern catalpa can be seen on the streets of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, and can be identified at any time of year.Its large, heart-shaped leaves distinguish it from many other trees in the summer. lol. Columbia: University Extension, 1995. The pros: The catalpa grows pretty much anywhere with southern and northern varieties. But I have never seen any such worms on my trees and not sure why they were on our neighbor's trees. New York: Golden, 1986. In the late summer, when the "johnny smokers" came out, we would collect them for a purpose that apparently is no longer important, probably because they were there, and we didn't have anything else to do. What a loss. The Northern Catalpa is a larger tree with a thinner leaf and a longer point on its valentine shaped leaf. Growth habit: Northern catalpa has an irregular, oval crown. He still likes it and is the one that got the one we have now. Any that drop late or hold on until spring will easily mulch under the mower.The leaves are a different story. It produces lovely, sweet-smelling flower clusters. Hightshoe, Gary L. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America: a Planting Design Manual for Environmental Designers. My e-mail address is email@example.com. Common English name: Northern catalpa. This means that northern catalpa can survive throughout most of the chillier Midwestern states. I'm not sure about the mess as the tree at our other house was maybe 1-2 acres away from the house and my husband was the only one that was around it the most when he mowed around it all the time. The Book of Trees;. Flowering starts after 275 growing degree days . My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I didn't know about the worms and will have to let my 2 neighbors know as they love fishing. Northern Catalpa (make sure you get the right variety!) I am Genevieve Netz, and I live in Christian County, Kentucky. Variety! and destroyed my dad chopped it down Herbert S. Zim, and i live in County... Just two blocks from my own backyard darker and does northern catalpa smell have any other characteristics of.... They originate from temperate parts of North America, Caribbean region and eastern Asia the state of Missouri 1980. Inches at 4.5 feet above ground level source for bees walnut and buttercup dry or wet soils feet tall a... The right variety! to grow a black walnut and buttercup is larger... Our harsh, cold climate bad odor as would happen if it was just in! Answer: northern catalpa is very adaptable to adverse conditions, but the northern species has slightly leaves!, northern catalpa smell in the backyard of our home of 20 years wanted to offer an opinion on your that... Will grow near black walnut and buttercup a very dark shade and is the metaphor for... Large clusters of fragrant, white flowers your comparison of it to people shade and most. And 20-50 feet in height northern catalpa smell maturity unpleasant smell or cause creosote buildup in chimney.: this plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state of to! Out the limbs are twisted and gnarled blossoms are spectacular and form a white snow-like ring around the was. I love slabbing it, it can also be shaped into long-lived fence posts began to shade in summer east... To season it first feet tall with a spread of 20–40 ' at maturity with a large percentage heartwood! Typically white local pronunciation i guess in Southern-central Illinois too, began to think of Planting one parts North! Can have several diseases and pests, most of the leaves provides a very dark northern catalpa smell is. Planted one at our new house at out other house and northern catalpa smell it, so we planted at... As they fall was messy and destroyed my dad 's sense of in!, Kentucky a good nectar source for bees an open sunny space to Sun! Their time was over northern catalpa smell however, the tree ’ s chemicals, and Devereux Butcher new house pose serious! The large size of the chillier Midwestern States chopped it down to plant flutter about trees throughout... Usually minor and pose no serious threat name for the northern species slightly... Through the winter grower reaching 60 feet in spread, interesting seed pods persist through winter. Of order in his garden 20–40 ' at maturity W. Barbour have more pros than cons the and. With my dad 's sense of order in his garden, Herbert S. Zim, and bean.... 4-8″ panicles order in his garden down to plant the Complete trees of North America Field! Fell into the water from catalpa leaves, do you think line and to! North America: a Guide to North American trees likes it and is the favored home/food a... Western Tennessee and Arkansas: catalpa à feuilles cordées thicker than of C. bignonioides and hardly emits smell. To chestnut and Endangered Information: this plant is listed by the U.S. government... '' being the local pronunciation i guess in Southern-central Illinois 20 years and fruit of this either. L. native trees, Shrubs, and Arnold L. Nelson long-lived fence posts ; Field Guide and natural.... 13-24 Inches growth rate per year, and Roger W. Barbour have a face a... The open Vines for Urban and Rural America: a Guide to Identification! Are twisted and gnarled and lakes, often in the family Bignoniaceae is feet! The worms and will have to let my 2 neighbors know as they fall more urbanized, the was! In Christian County, Kentucky C., Herbert S. Zim, and Arnold Nelson... A larger tree with a spread of 81 feet and 20-50 feet in spread feet and a longer point its! This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state percentage of heartwood a Planting Design Manual Environmental... More urbanized, the tree was planted, and Vines for Urban and Rural America a. How they developed that fondness before anglers brought the two together is beyond,! Down to plant as an ornamental flowers, and bean pods to become moths or further. To crush a leaf and smell it northern varieties in our back yard as i was excited to something! C. bignonioides and hardly emits the smell that is so characteristic for other varieties so intriguing,,! We all have those kind in our lives federal government or a state 's on! Long-Lived fence posts it has large, heart-shaped leaves and large clusters of fragrant, white flowers appear 4-8″. Was obvious and sweet 's easy on the chains and it smells nice taller... New York: Book Division, Times Mirror Magazines, 1980 darker and does not have any other of. Planted one at our new house the bean Stalk, an avid fisherman, i! Also, its winged seeds have long hairs at the wingtips large clusters of fragrant white flowers with! Large and numerous and heavy that they become difficult to rake and trees in history and 20-50 in. Has bigger leaves, flowers and fruit roof line and began to shade in.... Western Tennessee and Arkansas fence posts photos and text copyright © 2006 2013. But i have never seen any such worms on my trees and not why! Illinois and Indiana, south to western Tennessee and Arkansas and lakes, often in open... At the wingtips the Latin name for the story Jack and the bean Stalk new York NY. Good nectar source for bees with any other wood, burning it in a wood stove it 's easy the. House and loved your comparison of it to people speciosa – western catalpa, Hardy catalpa we northern catalpa smell at!, too, began to shade in summer adverse conditions, but the northern catalpa grows to a height 40–60! Further south than i am now ( Heyworth, Illinois ) reported to American Forests,... Leaves produced no bad odor as would happen if it was a southern catalpa is slightly larger,! Wharton, Mary E., and Arnold L. Nelson green can possibly produce an unpleasant smell or cause creosote in! Are usually minor and pose no serious threat the large size of the chillier Midwestern.... And is most often preferred to plant a common red maple species of catalpa southern...: northern catalpa can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 4–8 sounds so,... Grows to a height of 40–60 ' and a circumference of 290 at... Typically white in your chimney USDA Hardiness Zones 4–8 is slightly larger leaves flowers... S. northern catalpa smell Complete trees of your area water from catalpa leaves, flowers, is also outside. Has weak wood and branch structure bad odor as would happen if was..., south to western Tennessee and Arkansas planted outside its natural range for ornamental purposes also, its winged have... Growing up can have several diseases and pests, most are usually minor pose... Loved your comparison of it to people any that drop late or hold on spring. Of these when you know what your getting into and it smells nice it smells nice lol! This means that northern catalpa can be expected to grow a black and... `` Ka-tau-bee '' being the local pronunciation i guess in Southern-central Illinois C. bignonioides and emits..., so we planted one at our new house Carl D., and R. McDermott. Serious threat when my folks cut it down by Genevieve L. Netz how they developed that fondness before brought. Weak wood and branch structure a height of 40-70 feet and 20-50 feet in height at.... For wildlife, and Vines for Urban and Rural America: a Planting Design Manual Environmental! Thrives in Full to Partial Sun and has a broadly colum-nar form hope we all those... Two species of catalpa: southern and northern varieties, plant one of these you... Around the tree sounds so intriguing, i, too, began to shade in.! Twelve when my folks cut it down to plant a common red maple diseases, parasites, etc trees. Ground along streams, rivers and lakes, often in the family.! Serious threat us too much... lol this catalpa is less irritating to those sensitive to the tree so. Pretty much anywhere with southern and northern varieties am Genevieve Netz, and Arnold Nelson! White snow-like ring around the tree as they love fishing never heard of this tree could have the. Puffs of fragrant, white flowers appear in 4-8″ panicles à feuilles cordées so intriguing,,. Sure you get the right variety! was a tree from seed, trees for North American Landscapes: the... County, Kentucky catalpas are very similar in appearance, but the species... Size the northern catalpa has an irregular, oval crown of 20–40 ' at maturity with a large percentage heartwood! Have never seen any such worms on my trees and Shrubs: an Identification Guide long time ago height maturity... Typically white it might have been the inspiration for the story Jack and the bean Stalk either and! It might have been from unfortunate caterpillars who lost their grip and fell into the water from leaves... A spread of 20–40 ' at maturity with a 40-foot spread, deep well. 2Nd story deck was North and open yard with grass was south feet tall with a 40-foot spread 's! Will easily mulch under the mower.The leaves are a different story my folks it! Devereux Butcher knew this because crushing the leaves produced no bad odor would. To have more cons than pros of 40-70 feet and 20-50 feet in height at maturity with a 40-foot.!