Are you looking for a low-maintenance, attractive tree to plant on your property? Northern catalpas are medium-sized trees that become covered in giant, white flowers each spring. Their dark green leaves and twisting branches are also quite beautiful. But while northern catalpas are pretty, they do not grow well in all yards. Ask yourself these questions to figure out if a northern catalpa is a right choice for you.
Do you have a big, open space for planting?
Northern catalpa trees have a very broad canopy, so planting them between a lot of other trees or right up against a building is not a good choice. Ideally, you should have a big, open space that measures at least 60 feet wide if you're going to plant a northern catalpa.
Does your yard get at least partial sunlight?
Northern catalpas are tolerant of some shade. However, they do need sunlight for at least 4 hours a day in order to thrive. If your yard is completely surrounded by large buildings or tall trees, a northern catalpa may not be a good choice -- it simply won't get enough sunlight.
Is your soil well-drained?
Northern catalpa trees are quite tolerant of all soil pHs, so there's no need to conduct any soil tests before you plant them. The flowers may be larger or more vibrant if the tree is planted in slightly acidic soil, but they will still bloom in alkaline or neutral soil. What you do need to be sure of, however, is that the area where you plant the tree is well-drained. Northern catalpas can tolerate soil that stays moist for a while, but standing water can drown their roots, especially when they are young.
If your ideal planting area is too wet or has standing water, arrange to have a landscaping company improve your yard's drainage. Then, you can safely plant the tree.
The easiest way to plant a northern catalpa tree is to buy a sapling from a local nursery. Plant it in a hole that's twice as wide as the tree's root ball, and water it in well. You can scatter some mulch on the ground around the tree to keep moisture in the ground if rain has been scarce. Have the tree trimmed annually to maintain its shape.
To learn more about northern catalpa trees and the intricacies of their care, contact a company like The Hilltop Landscape Architects & Contractors.