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Katsura Tree Cercidiphyllum japonicum

Description & features

British Grown - The British Grown logo denotes plants and trees that have been both propagated and grown in the UK. Read more

Select plant type

Bare root guide

Size and quantity

Photo
Size / Height
Price
Quantity
 
15L pot size / 1.75-2.75m
£54.00
30L pot size / 2.4-3.5m
£168.00

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

All prices include VAT

British Grown - The British Grown logo denotes plants and trees that have been both propagated and grown in the UK. Read more

Product description

CERCIDIPHYLLUM JAPONICUM - Katsura

Characteristics

In its native Japan and China, the Katsura can grow to an impressive 45m (147ft) and is one of the largest deciduous trees in Asia. Traditionally its light timber is used for furniture and interior woodwork.

In Britain, where it is grown only for its ornamental value, it rarely reaches more than 14m (45ft) with a bushy habit as young shoots tend to be killed by severe frosts and chilly winter winds, thus restricting its growth.
 
The leaves of the Katsura are, if rather small, spectacular throughout the seasons. Starting out pink in the spring, the heart-shaped leaves turn to bright green in summer before various shades of yellow, orange and red take over for the autumn, often with several colours overlapping.

Where to grow

As well as being sensitive to frost Katsura requires constantly moist soil for it to thrive. During times of drought it will drop its leaves until water is available, as a means of protecting the rest of the tree.

Did you know?

Interestingly the autumn foliage can smell of burnt brown sugar, or candy floss, which adds to its appeal.

 

Features

Mature height
Medium - 10-15 metres
Spread
5-10 metres
Shape / habit
Pyramidal
Growth rate
Medium
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Autumn
Spring
Autumn colour
Mix
Orange
Purple
Red
Yellow
Leaf
Green
Purple/Red
Foliage
Fine/Light leaf
Early to Leaf
Small leaves
Scent
Scented Foliage
Other
Needs shelter
Dislikes cold sites
Uses
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites
Flower Arranging

Features

Mature height
Medium - 10-15 metres
Spread
5-10 metres
Shape / habit
Pyramidal
Growth rate
Medium
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Evergreen / Deciduous
Deciduous
Season of interest
Autumn
Spring
Autumn colour
Mix
Orange
Purple
Red
Yellow
Leaf
Green
Purple/Red
Foliage
Fine/Light leaf
Early to Leaf
Small leaves
Scent
Scented Foliage
Other
Needs shelter
Dislikes cold sites
Uses
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites
Flower Arranging

Aftercare

Pruning Cercidiphyllum japonicum

Cercidiphyllum japonicum has naturally well-spaced branches and a graceful outline that will need little pruning once established.  It can develop as either a clear-stem or multi-stem tree, and is best left to reach its full height as Cercidiphyllum japonicum often responds badly to hard pruning. You can, however, remove recently frost damaged growth in late spring.

What time of year should I prune? Prune from late autumn and throughout winter.

 

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.

Watering

The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.

Staking

If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.

Ties

Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


Comments

By bill washington on 07/09/2015

can this tree be placed into a container and left in the container instead of planting in the ground please ???

By Simon on 11/09/2015

Dear Bill,

This is ultimately a medium sized tree of 30ft (10m) or so, therefore it might be difficult to keep it in a pot. It may survive for some time in a large pot, given adequate water and feed, but after some time it will become pot-bound and the tree will suffer. They do not respond well to hard pruning so it is difficult to keep them small. For containers, opt for very small trees or shrubs if possible.

By Nathan on 02/05/2020

Hi. Looking to buy this tree to keep in a pot on a patio so size can be managed and maybe go no higher than 4m. Is this suitable for this tree?. If not can you recommened any similar trees that are suitable for container. Thanks

By Simon on 04/05/2020

Hi Nathan,

We wouldn’t recommend Cercidiphyllum for a container as the leaves wilt very quickly from incorrect watering and it can also be a little frost tender in containers. It can be tricky to keep any tree happy in a pot, but we have a guide here with a few tips https://www.chewvalleytrees.co.uk/guides/article/keeping-trees-and-shrubs-in-pots

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