Plant of the Month for Erie Colorado area landscapes-August 2022

Western Catalpa

Erie, CO area landscapes {Plant of the Month Series}

Need some shade from this heat? Need a tree that is drought tolerant. Look no further than the Western Catalpa. With large elephant ear leaves and gorgeous profuse white May flowers, Catalpa can be a great tree for shade here in our Erie Colorado landscapes. Plant a tree they said, it is a great tree they said. What could go wrong? Well, the one setback with Catalpa is the rather large bean shaped pods that it will drop every year. They look nice on the tree, but can be a bit messy. Not that gooey kind of messy you get from Crabapple or fruit trees, but just a mess to clean up. It’s not terrible, but nothing good comes without a little effort. Clean them up before mowing. A moderate speed grower, and years before true shade will be had, the Catalpa, like many shade trees is planted for the next generation. But, do your part, and plant a tree. They will like a moist environment to become established, but are low water users once established, provide shade and habitat for birds and look beautiful. It will like the water of a lawn if planted within the grass, but don’t plant in a low spot where water stands. Full sun is great, or partial shade, and amend the soil when planting. It will do just fine in our clay soils, however. It gets big, give it space….think 40’ wide and 70’ tall when full grown in 40 years….see, you are planting for the next generation, but do your part! Enjoy.


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