The wonderful native Northern Catalpa tree (Catalpa speciosa) is near and dear to many people across the United States. If you are familiar with the sinuous, upright form and the very large, heart-shaped leaves, you already love it.
If you've ever seen a mature Catalpa in spring, you know it's simply covered from top to bottom with the most amazing display of Azalea flower look-alikes. Each bell-shaped bloom features white petals and tiny rows of crimson dots and yellow throats. If you've seen it in bloom, you already love it, and so do hummingbirds.
This fast-growing tree is used as a municipal street tree. City planners use it to increase species diversity and protect the Elms and Ashes that grace our city streets. And as a large, ornamental shade tree, the Catalpa is no slouch.
This is one of the showiest native trees, and can be found along streams, creeks, and rivers throughout the Midwest. This gives it the ability to withstand wet soils. However, it's very adaptable, and can be easily grown in just about any soil.
As a member of the Bignonia Family, it is related to Trumpet Vine, Royal Paulownia, and other species of Catalpa, all of which are known for their showy flowers. They are also notable for their fast rate of growth.
People have gifted it with many nicknames, including Cigar tree, Catawba Tree, Hardy Catalpa, Western Catalpa, and Indian Bean Tree. The skinny fruits, which look like green beans, hang down from the branches and provide winter interest.
If you've got the room, Northern Catalpa really delivers. From the beautiful spring bloom to the huge leaves - 12 inches across - that provide delicious shade quickly, this native tree can become a beloved feature for your family. Order today, we sell out of this popular tree each year!
This large tree should be given plenty of room to thrive. If used in a manicured part of the yard, or along the street, expect to do a bit of clean up with your mower after the flowers fade. On the plus side, the big leaves make fall raking easy. They can be shredded and composted without any trouble.
Another option is to use it in spots that are a bit wilder throughout your property.
If you have some room, consider restoring a portion of your property into a naturalized prairie. You'll take out any bluegrass and put down the proper meadow seed mix for your area. Use a tractor or riding mower to carve out a mowed path through your meadow a few times a year. Then, place your Northern Catalpa as an enormous focal point.
It's rough texture will really draw the eye. It becomes a perfect contrasting foil against waving, slender blades of prairie grass and the rugged perennial forbs.
You'll love taking hikes out to the Catalpa to laze away under its wonderful shade. Put up a picnic table and include a fire pit a short distance away. The kids will love to camp out there, too. Don't forget the hammock, or comfy Adirondack chairs.
A super place to site a Northern Catalpa is near a pond. You won't worry about cleanup, and you'll gain a second look at your flowering tree as reflected in the water. Beautiful!
If you live in wide-open country, Catalpa makes great plants to include in your shelterbelts and windbreak areas. They grow quickly and reach a large size and keep their nice form.
Even on medium-sized lots, Catalpa are a great choice to include in large Rain Gardens. Create one in a low area to collect runoff and filter rainwater. They can be used anywhere in the design, including the Wet, Mesic or Transition Zones.
Northern Catalpa (make sure you get the right variety!) is an excellent light hardwood with a large percentage of heartwood. Settlers used the wood for beams. Because the wood resists rot, it can also be shaped into long-lived fence posts.
With a neutral, grayish tan color that resembles Ash, Catalpa wood can be planed into flooring planks. It would be wonderful worked into clean-lined modern furniture, as well. It has a spicy scent, so save any curled shavings for dried potpourri mixes.
Entrepreneurs and fishermen, take note. One of the most interesting uses for Catalpa's are as an orchard. Catalpa are a host plant for the Catalpa Sphinx Moth, and the caterpillars make excellent bait for sport fishing of catfish and largemouth bass. Southern anglers know them best as "catawba worms", and will pay a premium for these small caterpillars, which can be sold commercially or online. Spread drop cloths out under the tree, and lightly shake the tree to gather your harvest. This would be a great first job for a young, money-minded teen, wouldn't it?
Give it regular water for best growth and less stress. However, Northern Catalpa are very adaptable once their roots are established in the soil.
Catalpa trees grow best in full sun, but they'll handle a bit of shade, too.
Summer pruning can be done of any crossing branches. Catalpa does like to produce more than one leader when young, so watch for competing main stem leaders and simply remove them back to the main trunk.
The large size can sometimes outgrow the site quickly if not sited properly. Plant them where they can grow and develop naturally, so you will not have to restrict the plant. Site it correctly, and you'll love it forever.
Order this magnificent specimen tree today!
Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.
Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!
Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.
Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.
|Young Plants to 18 Months|
|2"x2"x3"||Ranges from||.18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume|
|4.5" Container||Equal to||.65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume|
|Sprinter Pot||Equal to||.63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume|
|4" Container||Ranges from||.31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume|
|6" Container||Equal to||1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume|
|1 Quart||Equal to||1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume|
|5.5" Container||Equal to||1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x5"||Ranges from||.8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x6"||Ranges from||1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x9"||Ranges from||1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume|
|4"x4"x10"||Ranges from||1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old|
|2 Quart||Equal to||2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume|
|#1 Container||Ranges from||2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume|
|5"x5"x12"||Equal to||3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 2 - 4 Years Old|
|#2 Container||Ranges from||1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume|
|#3 Container||Ranges from||2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume|
|Plants 3 - 5 Years Old|
|#5 Container||Ranges from||2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume|
|#6 Container||Ranges from||5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume|
|#7 Container||Ranges from||5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume|
Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.
This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with NatureHills.com and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.
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To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.
Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.
At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.
Click here to see our full rates
|Brand||Nature Hills' Choice|
|Botanical Name||Catalpa speciosa|
|Mature Height||40 - 60 feet|
|Mature Spread||20 - 40 feet|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun|