Northern Catalpa

All About the Northern Catalpa:

Scientific Nomenclature: Catalpa speciosa

Common Names: Northern catalpa, cigar tree, catawba tree

Mature Height: 40–60 feet 

Mature Spread: 20–40 feet

Growth Rate: Fast

Attracts Wildlife: Pollinators

Messiness: Large vanilla bean-shaped seed pods mature and drop in autumn. Flowers in the spring and drops blooms shortly after. Drops its very large leaves in autumn.

Shape: Irregular

Native to Kentucky: Yes

Preferred Soils: Tolerant of most soil conditions but prefers moist or well-drained loam with high organic matter content. It does well in difficult to grow locations as it’s tolerant of both occasionally wet sites and dry spots with poor soil.

Screening: Not used as a screening or privacy tree.

Drought Tolerance: Tolerant of poor and dry soil conditions but intolerant of drought.

Coniferous or Deciduous: Deciduous tree

Pruning: Very rarely needs pruning. If required, deadwood should be removed in late winter or early spring.

Climate Quick Facts:

Following being planted as a sapling, over 20 years one Northern catalpa will:

  • Sequester ~822 pounds of CO2.
  • Reduce stormwater runoff by 488 gallons.