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

Visual character of Caltapa trees

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The Catalpa never, or rarely, takes a symmetrical form when growing up; but generally forms a wide-spreading head, forty or fifty feet in diameter. Its large and abundant foliage affords a copious shade, and its growth is quite rapid, soon forming a large and bulky tree. In ornamental plantations it is much valued on account of its superb and showy flowers, and is therefore deserving a place in every lawn. It is generally seen to best advantage when standing alone, but it may also be mingled with other large round-leaved trees, as the basswood, etc., when it produces a very pleasing effect. The branches are rather brittle, like those of the locust, and are therefore somewhat liable to be broken by the wind. Accustomed to a warmer climate, the leaves expand late in the spring, and wither hastily when frost approaches; but the soft tint of their luxuriant vegetation is very grateful to the eye, and it appears to be uninjured by the hottest rays of summer. North of this place the Catalpa is rather too tender for exposed situations.