Katsura trees are truly special, with their distinctive scent of caramel/candy floss carrying for long distances in the early autumn. The pretty heart shaped leaves hang down like ornaments and turn dazzling shades of orange and red in autumn. We offer this unusual species as weeping, multi stem and mature trees
Katsura trees (Cercidiphyllum) are a wonderful choice for gardens, particularly in autumn when the heart shaped foliage turns vibrant colours and releases a wonderful sugary candy floss scent. This scent is why they are sometimes referred to as Candy Floss trees. Katsura do flower and fruit, but these are relatively insignificant and it is the aforementioned show stopping autumn display they are most popular for. No-one quite knows what the Candyfloss like scent is for and surprisingly, it's the leaves that are scented.
If space is limited, a weeping Katsura tree is smaller than Cercidiphyllum japonicum and so a great option. The colour of the autumn leaves can be affected by the acidity of the soil. Katsura also like moist soil and can drop their leaves if it is too dry. A sheltered position away from late frosts is ideal.
Cercidiphyllum are a very small genus and this Latin name comes from the unrelated Cercis, as the leaves are thought to look similar. For those interested in telling them apart, a key difference is that Cercidiphyllum leaves are arranged opposite each other, whereas Cercis leaves are alternate.
Cercidiphyllum are native to China and Japan, with the name "Katsura" coming from the Japanese language. Unlike many trees, we only know of one use that Katsura wood is cultivated for and that is to make the ancient Chinese board game called “Go”.
A very mature Katsura tree at Westonbirt Arboretum is around 10 metres from the path and yet the wonderful scent carries, stopping visitors in their tracks. RHS Garden Wisley is home to the UK Champion Katsura tree.