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Common Name: Katsura Tree
Cercidiphyllum japonicum is a
E. Asia - China, Japan.
Grows in woodlands in Japan but in China it is mainly found in open situations in rich moist soils at 1600 - 2800 metres[
Prefers a moist woodland soil in a position free from spring frosts[
]. Tolerates some lime but it is probably best in an acidic soil[
]. Dislikes dry soils[
]. Succeeds in full sun or semi-shade[
A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -20°c, but it prefers a continental climate and can be excited into premature growth in the mild maritime climate of Britain when the young growth is then very susceptible to frost damage[
]. There is usually no lasting harm from this damage[
Rarely more than a bush in much of Britain according to one report[
] whilst another says that there are trees 18 metres tall in W. Britain[
A fast growing tree, it tends to grow with a number of stems[
Plants produce richer autumn colours when grown on acid soils, the fallen leaves smell like burnt toffee[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Wood - light, soft, not strong, fine grained. It is a highly valued timber and is used for furniture, the interior finishes of buildings, boxes etc[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[
]. Sow stored seed in a greenhouse in late winter[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Layering in autumn. Takes 12 months. High percentage[
Basal cuttings, 15cm long, taken from May to July[
]. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.