We have a few large, mature Northern Catalpa trees in our yard that I've really grown to appreciate over the years. They're native trees that have H U G E leaves, put out a really nice set of interesting, white flower blooms on the trees in early Summer , and have a little Fall-show in them with a turn to golden yellow before dropping their large leaves. They leave behind long, lean seed pods that I've tried to grow into seedlings , but I don't think that I've ever successfully sowed a Northern Catalpa tree on my own. But...they also produce quite a few volunteer trees. In the Fall of 2022, I dug up and transplanted one of those volunteer seedlings and moved it into the little, corner bed of our back patio; tucked in between the Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grasses. I watered it to get it established and then left it alone. Two years later, what does that little volunteer (transplanted) tree look like? See below for the current state of the tree. It has grown
Showing posts with the label Catalpa Trees
Starting back in 2021, I started to grow some tree seedlings from collected tree seeds in little containers on our patio. I started with Kentucky Coffee Tree seedlings . Then, added some Catalpa trees . And then last year, I tried to add some flowering shrub cuttings - with Limelight Hydrangea . By last Summer, I had a number of trees that had grown into some tiny trees . I have overwintered these tree pots in the ground and each Spring, most of the seedlings have come back. Below are a few photos showing the current state of these trees - first with some Kentucky Coffee tree seedings that are in one-gallon containers: And, last Fall, I collected a number of tree seed nuts (Oaks, Pecan, Chestnut) and stuck them in a container of wet sand to winter stratify in the fridge . I planted a bunch of those seeds this Spring and have had mixed results - some germination. Below you can see some trays showing the results of that seed collection as well as some cutting experiments. I hav
There are big portions of our back lawn that currently look like this photo below - littered in white, tropical-looking blooms that are falling from a pair of mature Northern Catalpa trees that we inherited in our Zone 5B, Northern Illinois backyard: Below is a look at the mid-yard Northern Catalpa tree that is fully-leaf'd out and full of white blooms: Both Nat and I have grown to really like the Catalpa trees - and their large leaves, white blooms and layered limbs. I've posted about the Catalpas before - here's one from Fall 2021 . And from 2019 when I posted about it for the first time . And, I've been growing some seedlings in containers , too. More on these in a future post.
Last week, I posted some photos of the process of late-season Catalpa tree seed sowing in a few seed cells that we had on hand and talked about how I hoped they'd germinate and we would (maybe) get a few seedlings to harden off before the frost hits in the next six to eight weeks. I started the Catalpa tree seed project back last last year when I harvested a few Catalpa seed pods and tried to get them going two ways: first by putting them in the fridge for the Winter to get that cold stratification. And, by also popping open some brown seed pods and direct sowing some of them in a couple of spots. I covered that Catalpa tree seed sowing here in a post on Christmas Day . Back late last year, I planted these seeds in two spots: along the fence. And in a large wine barrel planter. Both, frankly...on a total whim. The ones along the fence have never amounted to anything. Between laying on a thick layer of mulch and seasonal weeding, these things didn't have a chance.
I recently posted about how I began to divide and upgrade the small seedlings of the native Kentucky Coffee Tree that I've been growing for 14-or-so months and talked about how I've enjoyed the process with native tree seedlings. I posted about trying other tree seeds in the past - including Catalpa and Honey Locust - as new projects. That is/was part of one of my 2022 to-do goals : keep working on the seedling project. I didn't jump on the Honey Locust seeds earlier this Summer, but earlier in August, I decided to give the Catalpa seeds a shot. Why? I came across a Catalpa seed pod that one of the kids had just busted open on our patio and seeing the seeds reminded me that I should give it a go with planting them. Here, below, is the pod and a bunch of the white, winged seeds scattered on our brick paver patio: I decided to try to get these to germinate a couple of ways. First...by planting them (like 1/4" or so deep) in a series of uncovered containers.
On my 2022 to-do list there's a couple of items that have what I'm calling 'crossover appeal'; meaning that there's some intersection between the activities of one item that pay off a second item. In particular, I'm looking at #7 and #10. #7 on the list talks about "working trees three ways" - that include planting, measuring and seedlings. #10 in the list talks about my desire to press ahead with some 'seasonal projects' that includes collecting tree seed pods and attempting to propagate them into seedlings. Last year, I came across some Kentucky Coffee Tree seed pods at one of the kid's practices. After bringing them home, soaking them and getting them started , I ended up with some seedlings. At the end of the season, I decided to dig the seedling tray into the ground in an attempt to overwinter them . As of today, they haven't leaf'd out just yet and so I've just left them be in the ground. I'll dislodge the tra
In our backyard, we have a couple of mature (and a few smaller, understory) Catalpa trees . I've posted about them from time-to-time and talked about how I've come around on them and have grown to really enjoy the species . And how the Catalpa tree has become a sort-of gateway into the whole "Native Tree" world. This Spring, we came across some Kentucky Coffee Tree seed pods at a Downers Grove park and successfully germinated them and grew some seedlings . We're currently attempting to overwinter those tiny seedlings by digging their containers in the ground . What I've learned from those seedlings was that the seeds required a winter rest. Or...what they call stratification. That means that they require a period of dormancy that comes along with the cold temperatures of Winter. For the Kentucky Coffee tree, that happens with the seed pods hanging on the trees all Winter until Spring when they drop. Based on that experience, I've decided to try
Another post for the [ fall show ] file here on the blog - but this one features a native tree that I've grown really fond of over the past few growing seasons: our large Catalpa tree. I last posted about this tree this past Summer , but when I was out on a walk around the garden recently, I noticed that the tree was putting on a nice, yellow show. See below for the leaf color in early November 2021: Our Walnut trees have mostly dropped all of their leaves, but this Catalpa is still holding on (for now). I've begun to look around the Web to try to figure out how to sow some Catalpa seeds and it seems that I need to leave the pods on the tree - have them cold stratify outside on the tree - and then pick and plant the seeds in the Spring. Just like I did with the Kentucky Coffee tree seeds this Spring .
Posting a couple of photos of two trees in our yard that I took earlier this month. First, we have two Catalpa trees in our yard. Starting around June 8th and running through the middle of the month, both of our Catalpa trees were in bloom with lovely white blooms. I inherited both of these, so filing these under [inherited tree] like I did with the Oaks and River Birch clump . Here, below, is Catalpa tree that is closer to our house in bloom. It is a really nice tree that I never looked at very closely. It is tucked in behind the large Northern Red Oak tree and in front of one of our large Walnuts. You can see the blooms scattered on the ground under the tree in the photo above. The other tree that I wanted to share was the Dawn Redwood tree below. It was VERY slow to break bud but by late April, it started to come alive. With the drought we've had all Spring, it seemed to my naked eye like this tree hasn't filled out as much as it has in previous years. But, now
I haven't done this in year's past, but I thought it would be useful in terms of tracking the leaves and foliage to track an early November backyard tree canopy. We have a couple of large Oak trees that have foliar marcescence - or the ability to keep some of their leaves late into the Winter. You can see some of those trees in the image above. Oak tree on the right and on the left. Up high, on the right side, I'm documenting *some* larger Catalpa leaves are still on the limbs. And the massive hackberry that straddles our fence line on the northside is still flush with dry, brittle leaves.
The last time that I posted a photo of this three-trunked tree was back in the month of May of 2018 when I included it (for the first time) in the tree inventory of our backyard. It was Springtime, so the tree looked sparse at the time . I'm sharing this photo in the [ tree inventory ] tag here on the blog to show how the limbs have leaf'd out and is providing some new lower-hanging screening and some branching that is starting to extend out over the lawn. The other thing to note is the big change the area around the tree has experienced over the past two seasons - back in 2018, this tree was surrounded by turf. Today, it is tucked into a mulch bed with a series of Ostrich Ferns at the tree's feet. This is one of two multi-trunked trees in our yard - the other one being up in the front yard with our Saucer Magnolia . I'm going to grab the calipers of these three trunks this Fall when I do the balance of the trees in our backyard. The other things to note
Yesterday, I posted a photo of the large Oak tree that we use for our tree swing and today, I'm posting another larger tree in our yard that is pre-losing its leaves: one of our Catalpa trees. We have four of them and there are actually three in this photo. The large one in the middle of course coupled with a Walnut tree on the left that has lost all of its leaves already. But, tucked on in on either side of the Walnut tree? A pair of small Catalpa trees: You may or may not know Catalpa trees, as I didn't either until we moved in and inherited these. They're a pretty unique tree because they are considered what I would call an 'All of the above' tree . That means they're a shade tree. And a flowering tree. And an ornamental tree. They flower in the late Spring and have beans in the Fall. And the leaves are H-U-G-E. I like a lot about these trees, but I don't think that I've ever come across them in the nursery. They're native,