Where and how to grow Southern Catalpa trees?

Raney10(z7 TN)April 18, 2006

I received seeds of this tree and got excellent results by winter sowing them. They are growing very fast and I have repotted them up into gallon size pots.

We live in the mountains, 1700-1900 elevation and I'm hoping I can grow them here.

Can someone tell me more about this tree? Does it need sunshine? How tall and wide and is it fast growing?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Raney

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
amazindirt(7A mid-TN)

I've never grown one myself, but it's my impression that catalpas are pretty tough to kill. Here's some links to info below -- enjoy your trees!

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/trees-new/catalpa_bignonioides.html

http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/treeselector/index_tree.cfm?id=29

http://www.treehelp.com/trees/catalpa/catalpa-types-southern.asp

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 11:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Raney10(z7 TN)

Thanks for the excellent links. I probably will be able to find a sunny spot for a couple or three and maybe some of my neighbors would like the rest. I'm really glad to find out that the Southern Catalpa is a bit smaller than the Northern one.

Thanks again for the quick response.

Raney

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
april_h_o(Z6 Nashville)

They will often have a small yellow and black caterpillaer on them which makes excellent fish bait. The caterpiller eats the catalpa leaves, but seems to leave everything else alone. I'm not positive, but I believe these Catalpa worms only survive on Catalpa trees.....kind of like koala bears that can only eat eucalyptus leaves.

They will be a medium sized tree, perhaps 40 feet tall and 20-30 feet wide at maturity. The blooms are attractive, too. Nice tree.

--April

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 11:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Raney10(z7 TN)

Thanks April. Do you have any idea what the caterpillar turns into? I would be very happy if the Catalpa tree is the host plant for a butterfly. We have lots of tulip poplars so we do have lots of Swallowtails. I've increased my flower garden about double in size this year and planted lots of butterfly host plants, especially those necessary to become certified as a Monarch Waystation.

Raney

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 8:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Soeur(z6b TN)

That caterpillar on catalpas turns into a kind of sphinx moth.

I have northern catalpa (C. speciosa) but not the southern species (C. bignonioides). If you ever get more seed, I'd love to snag a few...:)

Marty

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 9:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Raney10(z7 TN)

Sorry I'm so slow responding as I've been out of town for a few days.

Marty, where do you live? you can have one of my gallon size potted ones if you live nearby.

Raney

    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 7:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tngreenthumb(z6 TN)

I can attest for the caterpillars being good fish bait. My dad and his brother planted a few of the trees, but if I remember correctly, they had to order the first batch of worms.

But now, even 25+ years later, there are still worms every year.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 9:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
big_orange_vol_

Joe could you sponge off of your Dad and hook me up with a couple of bags full!!!! The Catfish go freakin' nuts over 'em.

Marty I can't get Tim off his lazy rear to come over there and get one of the Catalpa's. Is there any chance that you could bring it to the Swap or is that too much trouble? The only reason we want one is for the caterpillars. How old or how established does the tree need to be before they infest it? Can we take some from another tree, stick 'em on the new one and let nature take over?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 2:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tngreenthumb(z6 TN)

Hey Jeff. I'll check when I get to my mom's house the day before the swap. (if it's not dark) Not sure if they are hatched yet, and if they are they are probably tiny. Unless you have a tree to transplant them to, I doubt they'd be much good for fishing yet.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 3:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Soeur(z6b TN)

Raney, I live about 35 miles SW of Nashville. Is that anywhere near you? Or, are you going to the Middle TN Plant Swap? I'll be there.

Hey Jeff, I'll bring that tree if I get a working truck. Mine died... I took it in for an oil change and they killed it. :( Of course, it had upwards of 300,000 miles on it, so it had earned its rest, I reckon. But the timing is horrible, right in the middle of spring design/installation jobs. Oh well, I needed a full size truck anyway.

Marty

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 7:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Raney10(z7 TN)

Marty, think I'm about 45 mi SE of Nashville. About halfway between Nashville and Chattanooga on Cagle Mtn. When is the Middle TN Plant Swap? I know it's May but don't remember the date and we have so much going on next month. Sure would love to come and bring you a Southern Catalpa.

Raney

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 9:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
big_orange_vol_

Raney email me at jtoothmanindadj@comcast.net and I'll send you the info sheet on the Swap.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 10:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
robmidtenn(Garden Hardiness 7)

When I was a kid in north Lousiana (Monroe) there was a street named Catalpa, with blocks and blocks of Catalpa trees, big ones. They were supposed to have sprouted from fence posts when the area was a large farm. We used to love to beat the wasps to the Catalpa worms, and use them for bream or catfish bait. Gooie and messy, for boy fishermen only.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 9:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gds052466

does anyone know if there is a market for catalpa trees I have several I will be tkaing out would make someone great deal

Thanks Gary

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 6:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
april_h_o(Z6 Nashville)

I don't know about a market for them - a lot of folks nowadays don't know what they are.

It's a pity you have to take them out - they are cool trees.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 8:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
whbear_mchsi_com

Gary, where are you located? How big are the trees? Catalpa's have a large root system. If they aren't small you might have a problem taking them out.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 1:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nannette

I live between Nashville and Chattanooga and would like to uy a couple Catalpa trees.
Does anyone know where I can find them?
thanx,
Nannette

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 10:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Nannette,

Catalpas are not all that common as nursery plants. They are considered by many to be weedy or less-desirable. They grow very quickly, so are weak wooded and generally short-lived. That doesn't mean you shouldn't want one! It's just that you may not be able to find them locally.

Since they are so fast growing, they can be easily and quickly grown from seed too, so you may want to consider that option. Here are some mail-order sources, including Garden Watchdog ratings and web addresses:

Arrowhead Alpines (so-so G.WD. rating)(www.arrowheadalpines.com) has a couple of different types.

The Fragrant Path (decent G.WD. rating)(fragrantpathseeds.com) has seeds for five types.

Gossler Farms Nursery (decent G.WD. rating)(gosslerfarms.com) has one type.

F. W. Schumacher (very good G.WD. rating)(www.treeshrubseeds.com)has seeds for one species

Forestfarm (good G.WD. rating)(www.forestfarm.com/) has eight types.

Musser Forests (good G.WD. rating)(www.musserforests.com) has one type.

Sheffield's (very good G.WD. rating)(sheffields.com) has seeds for three species.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 10:38AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Project for Community Center
I just recently became aware of an opportunity to help...
forthechildren
Reclaiming my yard
Hello I'm a new homeowner and new to the forums. I'm...
lwash931
groundcovers in SW Tennessee
I had lots of Lamium, creeping Thyme, mints in Illinois...
ryseryse_2004
Williamson County Master Gardener Plant Sale and Garden Expo
Williamson County Master Gardner Association Invites...
bbhillarts
New Gardener Looking for Help :D
Hey guys, I'm just an average teenager looking to get...
GardenerLee
Sponsored Products
Solar Goes Green Flood Lights Solar Powered 50 ft. Range Black Motion Outdoor
$69.99 | Home Depot
Golden Olive Branch Coaster Set
$99.00 | Horchow
SLV Lighting | Nautilus MR16 Stainless Steel Outdoor Floodlight
$248.00 | YLighting
Campania International Chiquito Garden Statue - A-457-AL
$74.99 | Hayneedle
Palm Tree White Wine Tumblers
Classic Hostess
Carlton Euro Sham
Overstock.com
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™