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Cercidiphyllum japonicum

 
Cercidiphyllum japonicum
katsura tree

Common name katsura tree
Family cercidiphyllaceae
Life cycle tree (Z4-8)
Size 40'
Light sun
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil (not too dry)

Since the flowers of this tree are insignificant, its ornament is all in the small, elegantly shaped leaves, which emerge purplish in April, turn blue-green in summer, and yellow in autumn. Ours is set in a mixed border, where it blends in but doesn't stand out as much as it would as a specimen. but it got plenty of attention the one year that bald-faced hornets decided to build their nest on one of its branches. Luckily, the tree was just far enough away from the garden path that we could live in harmony with the hornets.
Post-scriptum: our katsura is no longer with us. I noticed it wasn't leafing out in the spring of 2011, following the brutal drought of summer 2010, and found that the branches were crackly and lifeless. A wintercreeper was making its way up the skeleton – maybe I'll leave it up for a while.

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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Last modified: April 30, 2011
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