Candy Floss Tree
Several names for this special medium sized tree. Cercidiphyllum japonicum or the Katsura tree is a genus native to both China and Japan. If growing in the wild this species can be a multi stemmed tree achieving heights of some 40-50 metres however this is unlikely if grown in a cultivated situation.
Katsura is the name favoured in Japan for this very underused ornamental tree. The small heart shaped leaves are set in pairs on the branches which are themselves rough barked. The Candy Floss Tree is considered to be one of the largest hardwood trees in Asia.
This spectacular specimen tree may not have the most outstanding show of flowers but more than makes up for the lack of showy blossoms by producing a stunning display of foliage. They emerge bronze and pink in spring before turning a rich green in summer as autumn progresses the foliage changes to hues of yellow, orange, smokey pink and red while at the same time exudes a sweet burnt sugar smell from which the name derives.
Katsura or Candy Floss Tree will benefit from being planted in a slightly sheltered spot in the garden to avoid any late frosts nipping the ends of new growth. They do not mind full sun or semi shade but do require moist reasonable soil to avoid leaf drop. The Katsura is ideally suited to smaller gardens both for the breath taking leaf colours and delicious scent of the fallen leaves particularly when crushed if walked upon. They are not considered to be fast growing and therefore with judicious pruning can be kept compact suitable for restricted areas.