Katsura-tree is a medium-sized tree with a broad conical crown.Read more about Tree, Bark, Twigs
Leaves are round with a heart-shaped or straight base and round-toothed edges. .Read more about Leaves
Iinconspicuous male and female flowers, borne on separate trees, open along with the leaves.Read more about Flowers
Fruits are small pods borne in groups of 2 to 4.Read more about Fruit
Twigs are slender and brown. Buds borne on dwarf shoots sit snugly against the twig. Buds are small, 2 - 4 mm (about 1/10") long, with 2 reddish scales.
Leaves have 3 to 5 or 7 main veins that branch from the base of the leaf. The edges have rounded teeth.
This is the only species in the katsura family (Cercidiphyllaceae). However, some consider Cercidiphyllum japonicum var. magnificum to be a separate species of katsura, rather than a variety. /p>
Katsura-tree is native to China and Japan. It is related to extinct species of the Cercidiphyllum that lived in North America prior to the the end of the last Ice Age, more than ten thousand years ago. This species was imported to North America in 1865 by an American consul to Japan, who sent the seeds to his father, a horitculturalist in New York.
In its native habitat, katsura-tree can reach 30m (100') or more, and is counted as one of Japan and China's tallest deciduous trees.
Derivation of names
Cercidipyllum means "leaves like Cercis" (redbud). Redbud leaves are a similar shape to those of Katsura-tree but have smooth rather than toothed edges. Redbud flowers have showy petals while katsura flowers are inconspicuous.
Katsura-tree's place in Toronto's urban forest
Katsura-tree is occasionally planted in Toronto parks and yards for its attractive leaves and spectacular fall colour.
Landscape value and potential for home planting
Though sometimes difficult to transplant, Katsura-tree is suited to medium or lage private or public spaces. While the flowers are not, its main feature, in order to have flowers, a pair of male and female trees must be planted.
Pests and diseases: Katsura-tree is not seriously affected by pests or diseases. Katsura-tree is sensitive to drought and requires ample moisture in its early growth. Its leaves may be scalded by the sun. .
This tree is available for planting through the City of Toronto's street tree program.
Links to maps at Canadian Tree Tours: