The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Uses of Catalpa trees

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We have seen the Catalpa employed to great advantage in fixing and holding up the loose soil of river banks, where, if planted, it will soon insinuate its strong roots, and retain the soil firmly. In Ohio, experiments have been made with the timber for the posts used in fencing; and it is stated on good authority that it is but little inferior, when well seasoned, to that of the locust in durability. Michaux mentions that he has been assured that the honey collected from the flowers is poisonous; but this we are inclined to doubt; or at least we have witnessed no ill effects from planting it in abundance in the middle States, in those neighborhoods where bees are kept in considerable numbers. The Catalpa is very easily propagated from seeds sown in any light soil; and the growth of the young plants is extremely rapid. C. syringafolia is the only species.