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Northern Catalpa a tree to consider for landscaping PDF Print E-mail
Written by Linda Langelo, CSU Extension agent   
Northern Catalpa, Catalpa speciosa are beautiful trees. They flower later in spring to early summer, usually May or June. The flowers are very striking. They are white with purple markings.

This tree has a spread of 20 to 40 feet and a height of 40 to 60. One drawback to planting this tree is that fast-growing trees tend to be weak wooded trees.

The Northern Catalpa in the picture at bottom right is fairly close to the house. Consider using this tree to shade the back yard or at least place it farther away from the house.


Northern Catalpa trees are beautiful when they flower, usually in May or June.  —Photo by Linda Langelo

While in flower, this tree is spectacular. The leaves are heart-shaped or cordate leaves. In the fall of the year, the leaves need to be raked so they will not smother the turf. The size of the leaves can be from 6-12 inches. They are a little difficult to totally breakdown under the mower blades.

Because these trees are fast-growing, people look to these trees to provide shade. They grow in zones 4 through 8.

The best features of this tree are as follows:

—tolerates hot weather.

—drought tolerant.

—grows in a wide range of soils, including alkaline soils.


A good consideration for hot, dry northern Colorado landscaping is the Northern Catalpa tree.

—Photo by Linda Langelo

All of those features make this tree an asset to the landscape in hot, dry northern Colorado with the alkaline soils.

Overall, this tree has few disease problems. The short list of diseases encompasses powdery mildew, leaf spot and verticillium wilt.


Holyoke Enterprise July 25, 2013