Cultivating Elegance: A Guide To Caring For Katsura Trees


Originating from Japan and China, the Katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) tree is a sight to behold. Famous for their medium-sized, heart-shaped leaves and autumn colors ranging from light apricot to clear red, these trees bring an oriental accent to any garden. As if these visual aesthetics weren't enough, Katsura leaves also produce a scent that's described as being like caramel, cotton candy, or toffee. If you've recently purchased a home with one or more Katsura trees in the yard, you may have some questions about their care and maintenance. Here's what you need to know.

Choosing the Right Spot

The first step in caring for your Katsura tree is selecting the right location. Katsura trees prefer a spot in full sun to part shade. They are adaptable to different soil types but thrive best in moist, well-drained soil. The location should also provide enough space for the tree to grow — mature Katsura trees can reach up to 40-60 feet in height with a similar spread when planted 

Planting the Katsura Tree

When planting, dig a hole twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball. Place the tree in the hole, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the ground surface. Backfill the hole with soil, press down firmly, and water thoroughly. A layer of mulch around the base of the tree will help retain soil moisture and regulate temperature.

Regular Watering and Fertilizing

Katsura trees enjoy consistent moisture. It's essential to water them regularly, especially during dry periods. However, be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. As for fertilization, an annual application of a slow-release granular fertilizer in early spring can help promote lush growth.

Pruning Your Katsura Tree

Pruning Katsura trees helps maintain their shape and removes dead or damaged wood, which can be a site for disease. The best time to prune is in late winter or early spring when the tree is dormant. Remember to make clean cuts and avoid tearing the bark — the best way to ensure clean cuts is by keeping 

Monitoring for Pests and Diseases

While Katsura trees are relatively pest-resistant, they can occasionally be affected by pests such as aphids or diseases like canker or leaf spot. Regular monitoring can help detect any potential issues early on. If you notice anything unusual, it's best to consult with a local extension service or a professional arborist.

Contact a local tree care service to learn more.


12 May 2023

Improving The Look Of Our Trees

After we moved into our house, we knew that something had to be done about our trees. The branches looked off-kilter, and we could tell that someone had pruned them incorrectly at one time or another. Unfortunately, we weren't really sure how to repair the damage. A family friend talked with us about hiring a professional tree trimmer, and so we called them the next day. The difference that they made was astounding. They removed dead branches, trimmed up the shape, and let more sunlight through. My blog is all about improving the look of your trees by hiring a professional.