Cercidiphyllum Species, Katsura Tree

Cercidiphyllum japonicum

Family: Cercidiphyllaceae
Genus: Cercidiphyllum (ser-sid-ih-FIL-um) (Info)
Species: japonicum (juh-PON-ih-kum) (Info)



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Petaluma, California

Redding, California

Waynesville, Georgia

Downers Grove, Illinois

Gilberts, Illinois

Pewee Valley, Kentucky

Lutherville Timonium, Maryland

Nottingham, Maryland

Dennis Port, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Westfield, Massachusetts

Cedarville, Michigan

Grand Haven, Michigan

Rochester, Michigan

Fulton, Missouri

Lincoln, Nebraska(2 reports)

Omaha, Nebraska

Hollis, New Hampshire

Morristown, New Jersey

Scotch Plains, New Jersey

Jefferson, New York

Oneonta, New York

Oswego, New York

Rochester, New York

Cincinnati, Ohio(2 reports)

Toledo, Ohio

Cheshire, Oregon

Cottage Grove, Oregon

Altoona, Pennsylvania

Chester Springs, Pennsylvania

Coatesville, Pennsylvania

Hanover, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Charleston, South Carolina

Knoxville, Tennessee

Tullahoma, Tennessee

Walkerton, Virginia

Ames Lake, Washington

Camas, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Redmond, Washington

Seattle, Washington(2 reports)

Stanwood, Washington

Union Hill-Novelty Hill, Washington

Cambridge, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 9, 2019, plantaholic186 from Winnetka, IL wrote:

After a frigid winter in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan (4a) with 3' of snow, my Katsura looks happy as ever.

More importantly, the roving herds of hungry deer ate almost everything this winter (including my Bottle brush buckeye), but they didn't even nibble on the Katsura.

Slow growing in 4a: 6" a year. In Chicago, mine grow about 12" a year.

It is also grown as a street tree in Chicago.


On Feb 12, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This tree is less tolerant of drought than most.

The fall fragrance is rarely mentioned in descriptions of this tree. The fallen leaves exhale a sweet fragrance evocative of cotton candy. It's a light but pervasive scent and perfumes the air. People often remark on the scent without realizing where it's coming from. Crushing the leaves doesn't bring out the fragrance.

Don't be too thorough or hasty with your fall clean up.


On Sep 20, 2013, RobertCole wrote:

Fabulous Weeping Katsura at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown NJ next to the Rose Garden.


On Jul 19, 2013, rosegirlbloom from Elgin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

I planted mine a few years ago as a small container tree, about 3 ft tall or so. It is a lovely tree, yet it has been slow to grow. It turns beautiful shades of yellow, and some orange/red in the fall. When the leaves drop, they have a noticeable wonderful sweet smell, a little like cotton candy. It is sensitive to drought, which i think has slowed the growth for mine. This year I added a tree gator- a slow releasing bag of water- and I'm hoping it will help, as it is ready to drop leaves at the first sign of dry weather. It is in full sun, and heavy clay soil that is common to the Chicago area.


On Oct 26, 2012, Billy2421 from Doncaster,
United Kingdom wrote:

I have just recieved my young tree approximatly 18ins tall.
It is now the middle of October in the North of the UK and a frost forcast tonight should I

A. Re-pot and keep in the cold frame untill spring?

B. When the frost has passed plant the tree outside in its perminant location when the small tree has gone dormant.

Thank you for any advice never purchased a tree this small.


On May 24, 2011, spears_r from Rosedale, MD wrote:

This is a beautiful tree. Did a lot of research on this tree and was intrigued. Planted 2 earlier this spring (1 about 5 ft & the other about 9 ft) and they're both thriving. The 9 ft one has significant growth on it already. Looking forward to seeing it in the fall! Live north of Baltimore.


On May 17, 2011, Northernlights2 from Cottage Grove, MN wrote:

I planted one a couple of years ago after reading how it survived in cold climates. My zone is a 4, on the fringe of 5. It was doing fabulous - growing 2-3 feet a year. This spring, new leaves emerging, then suddenly the whole top half has died off. The bottom half seems to be struggling. We have had an incredibly cold spring - the only thing I can think of is it came out of dormancy and got hit by the cold. I don't want to give up on it yet but with the main branches looking the way they are I don't have a lot of hope.


On Apr 7, 2011, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I planted a young sapling a few years ago and am finding it extremely slow growing. In its defense, however, it is planted in a field with no irrigation so is pretty much on its own. I do admire its features and am hoping it will have a growth spurt soon (perhaps the roots were getting established).


On Mar 15, 2011, JMSWilson from East Tennessee 6b/7a, TN wrote:

There is a fully mature, beautiful specimen of this by Morgan Hall on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Campus.


On Aug 29, 2010, KamKhaos from Waynesville, GA wrote:

The Katsura is a pleasant surprise. Almost a shock. I'm in SE Georgia (zone 8) and this tree has done the best out of anything else this year so far, new or old. Totally flourishing. Beautiful with perfect leaves. Regardless of my pest issues on some of my other plants, I hardly ever see a single leaf on this tree either chewed on or with those squiggly trails burrowed. This tree will attract ants, as I believe it may have some sugar content but I've never noticed any damage actually done by these ants.

This Katsura has been in the ground about 2 1/2 years and it's about 8 ft tall....probably added 3 ft just since April. I planted it at a young 12-18 inches. This tree required about a year to truly adapt. In truth, it didn't seem to be completely healthy through one... read more


On Oct 8, 2007, Redding from Redding, CA wrote:

We stayed at a Marriot in Portland this past summer. They had beautiful mature Katsura trees all along the front of their buildings. The landscaping company who planted them was "Pacific Northwest". Their website is "nwclassics.net" I bought 3 katsura's and planted them on the East side of our home.


On Mar 17, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Cercidiphyllum japonicum KATSURA TREE Dec (z5) (Bon,Fra lvs)
The wonderful "secret" of this large wide-spreading shade tree is that its heart-shaped lvs, reddish when young, turn yel-or in fall & emit the delightful fragrance of caramel--an added touch of magic for fall. S/M


On Jun 15, 2006, stforst from Bowen Island,
Canada wrote:

We had a fabulous specimen in our yard in Vancouver, BC. We have moved to Bowen Island, and I have just found a hitchhiker in my pots - a Katsura seedling. The seeds germinated frequently in the garden under the tree. I am trying to find a site for it, but our property has thin soil cover, with a lot of exposed bedrock or forest.


On Aug 18, 2004, cynxing from Northampton, MA wrote:

Re: Seed collection
There are several Katsura trees in and around Smith College in Northampton, MA. At this writing (mid-August), the trees are sending out green seed pods in clusters which brown and split and release flat brown seeds.


On Jul 19, 2004, xeger wrote:

This plant is listed as poisonous in a number of references.


On Mar 20, 2002, Kwmsf from Clifford, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is an elegant shade tree for those who want something a little different. The leaves are heart shaped, with a red tint in the spring, and the tree is pleasing to look at as a speciman any time of the year but the unusual quality of this tree is it's fall scent. When the leaves begin to fall the tree emits an odor described as caramel, burnt sugar or cotton candy. Cultivars of the tree have been grown for over 300 years in Japan.


On Oct 25, 2001, Evert from Helsinki,
Finland (Zone 4b) wrote:

Katsura grows in cold areas much more little than where it's originally from (Japan.) There it might grow up to 40 metres high. It grows well also in Finland, so it should grow in US zones 4-5, maybe even zone 3.

The leaves have very nice sweet scent when they are falling onto the ground. It's like a sweet candy, sugar, gingerbiscuits, etc.