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Catalpa bignonioides - Walter.                
                 
Common Name Indian Bean Tree, Southern catalpa
Family Bignoniaceae
Synonyms C. syringaefolia. Bignonia catalpa. L.
Known Hazards The roots are highly poisonous[254].
Habitats Rich moist soils by the sides of streams and rivers[229].
Range South-eastern N. America - Florida, Alabama, Missouri and Louisiana.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

Summary       
Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Late spring, Mid summer. Form: Oval.

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Catalpa bignonioides is a deciduous Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Oct to December. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

USDA hardiness zone : 5-9


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Catalpa bignonioides Indian Bean Tree, Southern catalpa


Catalpa bignonioides Indian Bean Tree, Southern catalpa
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses                                         
None known
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antidote;  Antiseptic;  Cardiac;  Laxative;  Ophthalmic;  Sedative;  Vermifuge.

A tea made from the bark has been used as an antiseptic, antidote to snake bites, laxative, sedative and vermifuge[222]. As well as having a sedative effect, the plant also has a mild narcotic action, though it never causes a dazed condition[7]. It has therefore been used with advantage in preparations with other herbs for the treatment of whooping cough in children, it is also used to treat asthma and spasmodic coughs in children[7, 254]. The bark has been used as a substitute for quinine in treating malaria[254]. The leaves are used as a poultice on wounds and abrasions[222]. A tea made from the seeds is used in the treatment of asthma and bronchitis and is applied externally to wounds[222]. The pods are sedative and are thought to have cardioactive properties[222]. Distilled water made from the pods, mixed with eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) and rue (Ruta graveolens) is a valuable eye lotion in the treatment of trachoma and conjunctivitis[7].
Other Uses
Wood.

A fast-growing tree with an extensive root system, it has been planted on land that is subject to landslips or erosion in order to stabilize the soil[7]. Wood - coarse and straight-grained, soft, not strong, moderately high in shock resistance, very durable in the soil. It weighs about 28lb per cubic foot. It is highly valued for posts and fencing rails, and is also used for interior finishes, cabinet work etc[46, 61, 82, 227].
Cultivation details                                         
Landscape Uses:Specimen, Street tree. Prefers a good moist loamy soil and a sunny position that is not exposed[1, 11]. Tolerates heavy clay soils[200]. Very resistant to atmospheric pollution[188]. Plants become chlorotic on shallow alkaline soils[202]. Plants are hardy to about -15°c, probably more in continental climates[200], they grow best in areas with hot summers[188]. Protect plants from late frosts when they are young[200]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is fast-growing in the wild where it often flowers when only 6 - 8 years old[229]. The sweetly-scented flowers are borne in forked panicles at the end of branches[245]. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value[188, 200, 202]. The trees transplant easily[200]. The crushed foliage has an unpleasant smell[202]. Another report says that the leaves are attractively scented when bruised[245]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Special Features:North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Blooms are very showy.
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - best sown outdoors, or in a cold frame, as soon as it is ripe[200]. Stratify stored seed for 3 weeks at 1°c and sow in spring[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Softwood cuttings, 10cm long, in a frame. They should be taken in late spring to early summer before the leaves are fully developed[200]. Root cuttings in winter[200].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Walter.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1182200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[7]Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants growing in Europe. Also gives other interesting information on the plants. Good photographs.
[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[61]Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
[82]Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America.
Two volumes, a comprehensive listing of N. American trees though a bit out of date now. Good details on habitats, some details on plant uses. Not really for the casual reader.
[188]Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[202]Davis. B. Climbers and Wall Shrubs.
Contains information on 2,000 species and cultivars, giving details of cultivation requirements. The text is terse but informative.
[222]Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America.
A concise book dealing with almost 500 species. A line drawing of each plant is included plus colour photographs of about 100 species. Very good as a field guide, it only gives brief details about the plants medicinal properties.
[227]Vines. R.A. Trees of North Texas
A readable guide to the area, it contains descriptions of the plants and their habitats with quite a bit of information on plant uses.
[229]Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History.
A very good concise guide. Gives habitats, good descriptions, maps showing distribution and a few of the uses. It also includes the many shrubs that occasionally reach tree proportions.
[245]Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
[254]Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
D.ALLEN Wed Aug 1 20:12:38 2001
I HAVE BEEN GROWING CATALPA TREES ALL MY LIFE,I GOT MY START FROM MY GRANDFATHER, WHO HAD ABOUT 30 OF THEM, THIS TREE ALSO GROWS A WORM, THE CATALPA WORM, THAT EATS THE LEAVES AND NOTHING ELSO, THE WORMS ARE ABOUT 3 INCHES LONG, AND ARE BLACK,YELLOW AND GREEN STIPPED, THE CALTAPA WORM ONLY EATS THE CATALPA TREE LEAVES,IN A GOOD YEAR YOU WILL HAVE SEVERAL CROPS,THE OLD LEAVES WILL FALL OFF, AND NEW ONES WILL GROW BACK IN THEIR PLACE,I TRY TO GROW AND DISTRIBUTE SEVERAL HUNDRED A YEAR FOR FREE, I AM 50 YEARS OLD NOW, WHEN I WAS 10-15, MY GRANDFATHER GOT 5 CENTS EACH FOR THE WORMS,RETAIL, 2 FOR A NICKLE WHOLESALE, CONTACT ME FOR MORE INFORMATION, AT DALLEN@hiwaay.NET
Elizabeth H.
Paul W Baker Wed Aug 4 13:43:41 2004
I have a Catalpa Bean tree I trace it's origin back 5 generations of trees. The original tree wa part of my earliest memories & I am now 71 yeras old. The tree has easily transferred fro Pa. To Va. heat & prospered. I get the C. B. worms which are great for fishing for Bass.Here in Va. the tree blossoms around Memorial Day every year since it's planting. I get at least 2-3 new trees growing every year from it's seeds. An old family friend,that tree.
Elizabeth H.
P. Standifer Sat Apr 30 02:18:45 2005
I have a Catalapa Bean tree growing in my yard in Tennessee. It has the same life cycle as D. Allen has stated. We also get the worms in our tree. It took a while for me to identify this tree as no one locally knew what it was. I'm not sure how old my tree is but it has been interesting to watch the life cycle. We also have some kind of bug that likes to breed in the tree in the spring before the worms get to it. I have only noticed the "beans" one year though.
Elizabeth H.
Thomas Torrisi Wed Jun 22 21:49:05 2005
I'm on the Hudson River, just north of Albany, N.Y. I remember a Catalpa tree on the river bank, when I was a young boy. It was cut down by a paper company because it interfeered with their pump house. This was over 30 years ago. Several years ago, I saw several catalpa trees on the river bank. Last year, 2 trees started to grow behind my house on the river bank. They survived the winter, the spring floods and ice flows. One of the trees looks better than the other. It is much bigger in every way. For now they are just green heart shaped leaves. I looking forward to seeing the flowers and the beans in some future year. I have enjoyed reading this site and I look forward to any additional comments that may be included in the future.
Elizabeth H.
Wed Jun 29 16:26:04 2005
I am growing some Catalpas from seeds. I have a HOT hilltop location which I think will work well. However I am slightly concerned about wind gusts. Does anyone know wind is a problem for the life of the tree or just when it is young? What kind of winds will break it? Karen - karen_becker@myrealbox.com
Elizabeth H.
Kevin Montgomery Thu Jul 7 20:12:37 2005
We have a Catalpa tree in the front yard of our old family homestead in southwest Missouri. No one lives there now but someone is there every weekend year round. This tree has been growing close to the front of the house for over 40 years and is now about 50 feet tall and 30 feet wide. I worry about it being too close to the house and being blown over by a strong wind. On July 4th, 2004 a microburst blew through the area and took down at least eight large Oak trees and a couple of Walnuts right around the area this Catlapa tree is in. I watched as the Catalpa bowed in the wind but it did not break or uproot as the same size trees around it did. The winds were estimated at 80mph and the ground was saturated, which caused some of the trees to uproot while others broke off. But not the Catalpa.
Elizabeth H.
Carl Tue Jul 19 04:18:50 2005
20 to about 30 years ago outside my kitchen window a catalpa grew 15 to 20 feet tall in a "Y" shape and one day cracked and fell over spreading 30 feet along the property line. It did not die, no all its branches grew up strait and created a 20 foot high fence line of lush leaf privacy. since then I've loved the catalpa. When we moved to Palos Park 25 miles south west of Chicago our yard previosly owned by a landscaper had a catalpa which started some babies that when we moved from there my wife and I took one each and kept in pots for two years. Mine I bonsified clipping roots and branches in a very shallow pot keeping to about 3 1/2 feet and I can't remember what her deal was and she's sleeping now so you'll probably never know. Any how when we finally planted them in our new yard they are doing well the bonsia in the first season didn't grow much but the second season is about 8 feet tall and my wifes is about 5 feet which at planting was about 2 feet. Now my question is how do catalpa roots grow 'cause I didn't expect this growth and I'd like to transplant it further from the house. This tree shot up like jack's bean stalk do the roots grow strait down? I haven't been able to find the answer yet. anybody know?
Elizabeth H.
Sun Jul 24 16:22:27 2005
I AM TRYING TO ACQUIRE A CAPALTA 'OVARTA' TREE, HAS ANYONE EVER HEARD OF THIS VARIETY, IF SO WHERE CAN I PURCHASE SAID SPECIMEN. IF ANYONE HAS ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SPECIES CAN YOU PLEASE TELEPHONE O1902 372513 ASK FOR KEITH GIBSON.
Elizabeth H.
Carl Clark Sat May 8 21:52:49 2004
I have two old catalpa trees in my front yard.,I havnt seen any worms in about 5 years..wonder what happened to them,,I live In Danville, Va.This is just north of the North Carolina line
Elizabeth H.
James Jasinski Tue Sep 28 14:31:12 2004
We rent a house that has a catalpa tree in the front yard and until a day or so ago I never knew what kind it was. It is an unusual looking tree that spreads out over the whole lawn. It was interesting to learn about the tree and its medicinal qualities.
Elizabeth H.
Jackie Sat Apr 22 2006
We purchased a catalpa last fall. It is late April and no leaves. We live in Detroit. Does anyone know when to expect buds? I fear it is dead. jacalyngoforth@hotmail.com
Elizabeth H.
Wayne Schmitt Sat Jan 21 2006
I'm about to transplant a Catalpa tree. Will it get transplant shock. If anyone has information about this, e-mail me at waynecockrell2003@yahoo.com.
Elizabeth H.
Andrea Mon May 29 2006
I too wish to transplant a small Catalpa. I am in Denver, CO. Has anyone had success with transplanting...and at what time of year? Thanks.
Elizabeth H.
Mon Jun 12 2006
The leaves on my catalpa tree seem to be getting smaller and thinner each year. They start off very brown and develop slowly (June in England), but this year they are very weak with no obnvious sign of pest or disease. Any ideas on how I can resue it? J.A. England
Elizabeth H.
Kevan Sun Jul 2 2006
Our catalpa in Cambridge, UK, likes a lot of water. It seems to be prone to wilting, but I have watered regularly this year and have about 12" of growth already. On the weekends I normally empty the kids paddling pool around the bottom of it at the end of the day.
Elizabeth H.
Rowena Wed Aug 23 2006
We have a northern catalpa tree about 12 ft tall and want to transplant it to another location in our yard. We live in Spokane , WA and would appreciate any information anyone might have on this! Our email is: mr.mmj@comcast.net Thanks for any help or links anyone may know of! Mark and Rowena
Elizabeth H.
Alan Woollcombe Wed Sep 6 2006
In reply to Keith Gibson, The RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) website lists three suppliers (all do mail order as well) of Catalpa ovata in the UK. Go to the website listed below for details. Good luck!

RHS Plant Finder Where to buy Catalpa ovata

Elizabeth H.
John Hall Fri Sep 22 2006
Hi We live in Yorkshire and our tree is 11 years old.With the exceptionally hot summer this year we've had our first crop of beans.They are about 10 inches long and the tree is covered in them---very spectacular. The tree now spreads over part of the lawn and seems to be damaging it.Does anyone know if the tree is dripping sap or anything?
Elizabeth H.
Ken Fern Fri Sep 22 2006
I think it is very unlikely that John's tree is dripping sap. There are two much more likely reasons for the damage to the lawn and I feel that both play a part here. Firstly, the hotter weather this year, and reduced amounts of rain, mean that plants are competing more for reduced levels of moisture. As John's tree grows larger, its roots will range further and tend to dry out the soil, thus depriving the lawn of moisture. Secondly, as the tree grows larger, it will shade out the grass - most grasses do not appreciate shade.
Elizabeth H.
Thu Sep 21 2006
Regarding transplanting Catalpa: it transplants very well, I have moved trees up to 8' in height. Larger can be moved, but a proportionally larger root ball is required, and at a certain height (likely around 10'), a machine will be required to lift the necessary root ball. The procedure is no different than other trees: prepare a good hole first, prune any crossing, dead, unhealthy wood from the tree, if it is large reduce the foliage via pruning, dig a large root ball, and plant. Muck it in (water the soil around the root to a muddy consistency) to eliminate air pockets, and mulch.
Elizabeth H.
brian marber Sun Oct 29 2006
I have a catalpa tree planted about 25 years ago, one foot from my house. I live in a courtyard and one of my neighbours has always disliked it. His latest argument is that the roots will damagemy house, but if I cut it down and take out the stumpp, and, I suppose, the roots, the house will be damaged by subsidence. He also says the trees grow to 80 feet. Any comments, please. I love the tree; I love my house; I no longer love my neighbour. Any thoughts about height, extension of roots etc. Please help an old angry man. Surrey, England.
Elizabeth H.
Ken Fern, Plants for a Future. Fri Nov 3 2006
I'm afraid that your neighbour is at least partially correct. The tree has been known to grow up to 50 feet tall in Britain, and its roots do have the potential to cause damage to foundations. How tall is your tree now? They are not that long lived and usually die by the time they are about 40 years old. It is unlikely that your tree will grow a lot taller. I, personally, would be tempted to call in the services of a local tree expert to check if there is any damage to the foundations and heed their advice.
Elizabeth H.
Andrea Fri Jan 19 2007
I have a Catalpa in my garden in Brussels, Belgium, which is roughly the latitide of New Foundland or Cornwall. It is a magnificient specimen about 130-150 years old (according to the tree surgeon), around 13 metres high and certainly 15 m wide. My neighbour's father played on the tree when he was a child and said that it was already old then. I can only guess the circumference of the main trunk. In its youth the tree must have been blow over, so its first three metres grew at an angle of about 45 degrees and the rest is upright. At about three metres hight the trunk splits into two main arms each of which with lots of branches. Many of these are as thick as a sporty man's leg. The roots are not very deep but thick and extensive. My Catalpa survived many harsh winters (it can get up to -20 C° here) and high winds, until yesterday, when hurricane Kyrill uprooted it, together with many other trees in the area. Sadly, the tree cannot be uprighted again since it is very large and heavy. In the summer of 2006, which was quite warm, it flowered twice and produced first an incredible abundance of white flowers the scent of which was discernible quite some distance away, and in October an equal amount of beans. I never had problems with worms or other insects. In fact, mosquitoes dislike the scent of the leaves very much. In the hot summers of 2003 and 2006, the shade of this tree provided the only bearable space to be - the house was definitely too hot. Now the tree will have to be taken down and my only consolation is that the wood will be turned into garden furniture. The wood itself is scented and resinous, which makes it ideal for outdoor furniture and cabinets. I will immediately plant a new Catalpa and will try to use the seeds of my old tree to grow new. I have photos, if any Catalpa-lower is interested.
Elizabeth H.
Frank S Thu Mar 1 2007
Hello Catalpa Fans, While I no longer have any Catalpa Trees located near me, I grew up on the North side of Chicago, where we had several Catalpa trees on our block. As children we would pluck the flowers off of the tree and lick the base of the flower which had a nectar on it that tasted like honey. We had no idea whether this was safe or not, but it sure tasted good. Unfortunately an invasion of Asian Longhorn Beetles destroyed all of the trees in the neighborhood that I grew up in, and all of these trees are gone from that area. My wife is aware of another location that had some Catalpas nearby, and we may head over to try and collect some seed pods this summer. We used to incorrectly call this tree a "Honeysuckle", because we were kids, there was no internet and nobody's dad was a botanist. Just wondering if any of you have ever tried this at all or if this quirk is specific to a particular breed of Catalpa. Thanks for any help that you can provide. Frank
Elizabeth H.
Ken Fern, Plants for a Future Sun Mar 4 2007
The nectar of Catalpa is very unlikely to be harmful, especially in the small quantities you obtain from each flower. Here in England I have often sucked the nectar from our native honeysuckle and it is very pleasant. I'll have to give the Catalpa a try next time I'm near a flowering tree!
Elizabeth H.
Christine Armstrong Sun Sep 10 2006
We have two of these trees in the South of UK, they are a joy to have, Yes they do leaf late in the Spring/beginning of Summer. Soon after it's flowering time, then come the beans and my goodness have we had some beans this year, they are nice too. I love all aspects of the tree, though our neighbour felt they needed a trim, so he did that today, so if you want a bean or two let me know, i have loads, I'm thinking of trying to grow some from seed after reading all the lovely letters you have on here. My e-mail address is ;- mummy_earth@hotmail.com if you are wanting any of my beans.
Elizabeth H.
francesca Sun Nov 26 2006
How do you grow from bean? we intend to plant as many as possible!
Elizabeth H.
Kev Thu Apr 12 2007
I am about to plant 2 Catalpa saplings which I have grown from seeds obtained from Longleat UK. Does anyone know how far the roots actualy grow from the tree, I am planning to plant them about 30 feet from my house, is this too close?
Elizabeth H.
Jenny Fri May 25 2007
Our car is parked under a large Catalpa in London and it is covered in a sticky substance that swarms of tiny black flies get stuck to. It is very difficult to remove and if we do not wash the car every week we fear that it will bake on in the sun and destroy the paint. We pratically have to scratch each tiny black fly off with our nails. Unfortunately we cannot park our car anywhere else as it is our designated spot. With reference to John Hall, I am sure this sticky stuff could kill a lawn. I love trees but this one is a pain and I am looking forward to moving away and sparing our car from the glue that seems to come from this tree. However, I would like to grow one in my new home in the country, far away from any cars or other peoples' homes because it is a beautiful looking tree and we have also noticed that the parakeets love the beans!
Elizabeth H.
Kristiana Mon Jun 18 2007
I live in Evanston, IL, and this year for the first time have been enjoying the beautiful flowers of several Catalpa trees in the neighborhood. I am from Latvia and Catalpa trees are not common there. Can anyone tell me if Catalpa trees would survive climate of Northern Poland and which type is most sturdy for moderate summers/ cold winters. I would like to plant some back there:). Thanks. Kristiana
Elizabeth H.
Elizabeth McDougall Fri Jun 22 2007
A most interesting page. I am about to write an article about a Catalpa tree that grows in the West Sussex village (UK) that I live in. There is something magnificent about this tree which grows in the pavement outside our local dry cleaners. I have planted some of the seeds this year and am most interested to see whether or not they germinate. If they do I will look after them and then donate them to local parks etc. It would appear to be a North American tree and the name Indian Bean Tree is misleading.
Elizabeth H.
Joe Tue Jun 26 2007
Can anyone tell me how to properly prune my Catalpa tree? I purchased a home with a large Catalpa tree and I am forever raking the dried bean pods from fall throughout the following summer. If anyone could share their secrets, it would be greatly appreciated. I love the tree, but find it exhausting to look after..
Elizabeth H.
Jackie Burton Hardaker Thu Jun 28 2007
I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and we had two catalpa trees on our property when we purchased our house in 2003, in fact it was one of the things my husband fell in love with first. We have since removed one of the trees to install our front deck but have kept the other. The first one appeared to be hollow and dead little did we know that it was not. We dug it up, replaced the sod and the next year a little tree was growing back in it's place, we dug that up and potted it but it didn't survive while we were away on vacation, it dried out. Every year we had pruned all the sticks back on our tree in the fall. The previous owner had trimmed it too early in it's life and it was quite short, we decided to let it keep it's brances last year to gain some height and this year is the first year it has flowered. We were soooo excited! My father hates this tree because he parks his car at that end of the driveway and I have always trimmed it so he can park without blinding himself with leaves and sticks. This year he hates it even more because now that it has flowered it is leaving a sticky substance on his vehicle. I have double checked to make sure it is the flowers and all the leaves surrounding the flowers have the same substance so we are considering moving it. We also hope to save some of the seeds and see if we can start a few more seedlings. Many of our neighbours have the same trees planted on their properties during the development in 1952. Many are treated as small ornamentals and many are large bean producers. We hope to take these seedlings with us when we leave this house in two years. Just wanted to let everyone know that they grow here in Canada quite well and take lots of abuse. So for the people who may have to remove their trees or they were damaged in the storm, you may luck out with saving some of the roots and transplant them even if you original tree doesn't survive.
Elizabeth H.
Linda Wientjes Tue Jul 10 2007
I planted a tree that my mother thought was from a pecan that a squirrel might have planted. Of course the large leaves let us know that it was not a pecan tree. We just did not know what kind of tree we had. I started looking at pictures of bean producing trees and found out I had a Catalpa tree. I planted the tree in May and it is already 6 ft.. I have read such good things about it, but I need to know if it would hurt my miniature donkeys.
Elizabeth H.
chris waters Wed Jul 11 2007
Please help.. we have a beautiful Catalpa tree and last year in mid summer a small section lost it's leaves and we thought it had caught a disease. In the autumn the leaves grew back and it actually flowered from this section of the tree. This year an even larger section( 30% of the tree and still spreading ) is dying off and we are worried that we may loose it all. Is there anything we should be doing to try and save it?
Elizabeth H.
Marion Fri Jul 13 2007
We have had a Catalpa for several years; originally in a large pot it didn't do too much but it has been in the ground for about two years and is taking off like a rocket. It's now about 8ft fall but we are concerned that the leaves towards the top appear to be wilting. We wonder if it's just because of our very bad summer this year - not many hot days and LOTS of rain - however, it has flowered for the first time. Would appreciate any info. Also am curious about the 'worms'. Would we be likely to get these in the UK?
Elizabeth H.
Jamie Fanning Fri Aug 10 2007
Jamie, Kitchener Ontario Canada My sister has a few large Catalpa trees growing in her yard in the city. We normally experience very cold winters here. This however, does not seem to interfere with the growth of the catalpa. It is such a beautiful tree. It probably stands at least 40 feet. I have taken a pod off the tree and am going to try and start a tree from that. Any suggestions? I am taking the tree to northern Ontario (Bancroft). It will be a good experiment to see if it can endure the cold winters and hardy warm summer temps.
Elizabeth H.
David Harris Mon Aug 13 2007
I live in south central Michigan. I have a catalpa tree in our back yard. There is one in our church driveway about a mile away. When they flower, especially this year you could see them everywhere you drive. I remember as a child (50 years ago) we used catalpa worms to fish for Blue Gills You would cut them into and slide them on the hook inside out. They would catch fish better than any other bait. Now here is the question. Where have all the catalpa worms gone? I check every tree I see and have been looking for perhaps 20 years and havent seen any. I like the trees but would like to also get the worms back.
Elizabeth H.
Elizabeth D Thu Sep 6 2007
We moved to this house two years ago, and it has a beautiful, mature catalpa in the garden. It's about 8m tall with a canopy ofabout 6m wide. It doesn't look like it has ever been pruned as its branches are very long and quite droopy. Last summer it flowered beautifully and had so many beans on it that the branches touched the ground. We did actually shorten a couple of branches. This summer, it flowered a little earlier - stunning. We went away on holiday and imagine our horror when we returned to find one complete branch half way up looking like it had died off. Its leaves were black and falling. We can't understand what happened, and we have chopped the branch off, just in case it has some kind of disease that could spread. I keep inspecting the other leaves and some of them have brown patches on them, but as the summer was so awful and we are getting into autumn, I'm not sure whether that's normal autumn behaviour. I can't remember what month the leaves dropped last year, although it should be late as it is one of the last trees to come into leaf in the Spring. Does anyone have any idea of what could have happened? We were relying on it to screen off the new house that is about to be built next door!!
Elizabeth H.
John Hall Fri Sep 14 2007
Hi Catalpa fans,here's an update to compare with last year.Up to present we've had no beans on the tree (but plenty of flowers) compared with last year when it was covered in beans which remained on until nearly Xmas if I recall .Last year was much warmer than this and there were weeks of rain in July so it seems clear the tree likes long ,dry warm periods.So anyone who thinks we're undergoing global warming...tell it to my tree! Bye for now.John.
Elizabeth H.
india Fri Nov 16 2007
Where can I buy a nice size (5 ft or larger) catalpa. I am in Maryland
Elizabeth H.
ruth hutton Mon Jan 21 2008
Are the seeds poisonous? I have seen one in a play area and was wondering if this is the best location for one?
Elizabeth H.
Daniela Tue Mar 11 2008
We also have a Catalpa 'Indian Bean Tree' in the middle of our yard! It's about 3-4 years old now, but was wondering how we can make It grow quicker......... as we want to be able to sit in it's shade....... It currently has a fairly bear trunk and then leaves etc. on it's head. Perhaps this is a different variety?
Elizabeth H.
Daniela Tue Mar 11 2008
By the way I am in Australia
Elizabeth H.
Jim Fri Jun 27 2008
I have a few dozen (probably more) Catalpa trees in my neighborhood in northcentral West Virginia. I have a quite large one at over 12' in circumference. I generally cut down many hundreds with my string trimmer in the spring. They grow like weeds around here. With my home in mind, the big one is fairly close to the house. Are these trees knocked over much by wind? Lately, we've had some severe wind storms, in fact falling a seventy foot pine tree into my house and garage last week. Just curious how much risk this catalpa tree has.
Elizabeth H.
Denise Vose Wed Jul 16 2008
hi, just got an indian bean form a car boot 50p it as lots of new growth but have noticed whit patches appearing on the leaves is this normal email is nesseyvose@hotmail.co.uk. if any one can help.
Elizabeth H.
Linda Ennis Sun Aug 31 2008
My capalca tree did flower very briefly last year in July, but this year there are several branches with all of the leaves dead or dying, althought some branches still have plenty of healthy looking leaves. Should I be taking any action?
Elizabeth H.
virginia Thu Sep 25 2008
i have a catalpa here on vancouver island in british columbia canada. it is now 4 yrs old. it never bloomed this year but did last year. it is very healthy vigorous and compact, as i pruned it back severely in the spring. im wondering why it did not bloom this year. it is very dense and healthy, but it was so disappointing that it never bloomed again. it is in protected full sun. please email......sea.art@hotmail.com
Elizabeth H.
Susie Bearder Wed Oct 22 2008
Southern Spain: Having fallen in love with the catalpa while visiting Virginia I bought a stick of a catalpa from a local garden centre last year - thought it had died but it put out late leaves and a few bean pods this summer. It is actually over a rabbit warren - guess they might go somewhere else hopefully. I want to grow some more so I am going to just pot some up leave on the patio and and watch what happens. I find it extraordiary that everyone is saying it likes lots of water as here on the Andalucian border guarantee of water is impossible. However any tips to going a stage furthere with these lovely trees would be appreciated.
Elizabeth H.
david n Wed Oct 22 2008
There is a repellant that keeps rabbits off plants, I've only ever used a commercial brand but apparantly you can make it by mixing powder milk, egg whites and white paint(the paint is the fixing agent), spray or paint it on to plant. It also repells sheep and possum but not cattle, I suspect the smell attracts mice.
Elizabeth H.
SDB Wed Dec 24 2008
I have a huge catalpa tree in my back yard and am considering an addition to my home. Does anyone know anything about the tree's root structure or how close I can get to it without killing it?
Elizabeth H.
Gayle Tue Dec 30 2008
We have a Catalpa in our front garden.It is about 10 years old and is flowering for the first time.They seem to be quite rare here.We live in North Canterbury,New Zealand and the poor tree is subjected to gale force hot and dry Nor" Westers every spring.It seems to have aclimatised well over the years and the leaves are less damaged than they were in the first years it was planted. It's very lovely and we are so glad to have it.GG.NZ
Elizabeth H.
Sun Feb 15 2009
Ours had not bloomed for years and there had been no worms for years. I started feeding the tree coffee grounds over a 6 month period and the last 2 years we have had blooms and lots of worms. I also gave it some miracle grow once or twice, but mainly just the coffee grounds.
Elizabeth H.
Jackie Hardaker Sun Feb 22 2009
Hi again, I wrote a post a year in June of 2007 about my catalpa. We are in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and 2008 was the first year our catalpa bloomed since we moved here in 2003. I believe it is because every year since we moved here I have cut it back in the fall and we decided in 2007 not to prune it and in the spring/summer/fall of 2008 it grew like crazy, bloomed and gave us beans for the second year. The first time ever. It was gorgeous. We are now considering moving it as it is close to our driveway and my dad parks under it. So basically the update on my tree is that without pruning, it grew alot, it blossomed and produced beans and it did not produce sap this year as it did in 2007. I am going to attempt starting some seedlings from seeds and we are going to attempt to move it this year. Thanks to everyone for all the good information.
Elizabeth H.
Paul Thu Jan 21 2010
I have three Catalpa trees in my front yard - trunk is about 10cm diameter on each. They have been pollarded every year. We have just had to move one during the installation of brick paving on the drive. Should I pollard this one, or would that be too much for the tree to take?
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