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Cercidiphyllum Japonicum, more commonly known as Katsura Tree, is a deciduous flowering tree prized for its unusual foliage. Medium-sized, with multicoloured leaves, this cultivar is an ideal candidate for a specimen tree. New heart shaped leaves emerge bronze in the spring, to turn red-tinged, and, as the season progresses, into incredible tones of yellow, orange and pink in the autumn. The striking foliage is not only considered unusual for its truly spectacular looks, but for the fact that the leaves have a distinct scent in the fall, similar to the one of burnt sugar. The flowers and fruits that follow are inconspicuous.
Easy to grow and to care for, Cercidiphyllum Japonicum prefers chalk, clay and sandy soils that are moist but well-drained. When it comes to choosing a location, this ornamental tree thrives both in full sun and dappled shade, although picking a sunny spot in the garden secures good autumn colour.
Native to East Asia, the Katsura Tree is fully hardy in Britain and Ireland. Even though this tree won’t mind low winter temperatures, up to 15 degrees below zero, it will appreciate sheltering from late frosts. Quite a robust specimen, this unusual tree is considered both pest and disease free. Cercidiphyllum Japonicum is also the recipient of the Award of Garden Merit, a sure sign it performs well in gardens across the United Kingdom.
Long-lived, Katsura tree can grow up to be more than 12 metres high and 8 metres wide, but it will need a few decades to achieve its maximum size. A fuss-free cultivar, this highly decorative tree requires no special attention and it’s easy to maintain in great shape. Just prune out any damaged, unwanted, or dead branches and twigs in the early spring.With eye-catching foliage, Cercidiphyllum Japonicum is definitely going to be in the spotlight. The chameleon-like colourful leaves can be enhanced by underplanting with low-growing plants such as Leucothoe Axillaris Curly Red or Pittosporum Tenuifolium Golf Ball. The Katsura tree also works well in mixed shrub borders and woodland gardens.