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Cerciphyllum japonicum experience anyone?

Zen DogZen Dog Posts: 51
I've just bought a young cerciphyllum japonicum (katsura tree) and am yet again finding hugely conflicting info online regarding everything from size and growth rate to all aspects of care. I've only read info from specialist tree nurseries and "reliable" sites. I can only guess some are confusing the cp with an Acer which is also called a katsura although one tree nursery outdid all the others by describing it as both slow and fast growing and being suitable for a small garden whilst also stating it reaches a height of 60ft!!! Does anyone actually have a cerciphyllum japonicum who could give me first hand experience of its care and "behaviour." It's a beautiful tree that I've wanted for some time (based on "general" care info etc) and I'd hate to have to return it.


  • You're in an odd situation as you've bought something you craved but didn't think through if you can offer it what it needs. Most people would think of them as medium to large trees but won't reach their final size in less than a couple of decades. So it's up to how much space you have and if you can offer them the consistent moisture they need.

    For instance this seller seems to give a good overview

    It's a tree with a beautiful natural shape so not much upkeep needed. But it needs space, if you can offer that, then lucky you 😉
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Zen DogZen Dog Posts: 51
    Hi "George" thanks for your reply and the link. I had done some "research" before buying but so much is conflicting it's easy to get confused (for me at least!) Even chew valley describe it as suitable for a small garden despite its ultimate dimensions. My garden is middle sized if I had to describe it based on rhs guide so I have the space though the placement might be an issue if I take all the info to heart. It supposedly doesn't like wind or afternoon sun and won't get best colour in alkaline soil.....all of which would be an issue in the suitable positions for its size. I know the garden centre well so I think it will be a case of erring on the side of caution and swapping it for something else on my list....! Thanks for your time
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 4,709
    edited June 2020
    We used to have 2... a weeping one and the ordinary sp.
    I would never describe it as being suitable for a small garden.

    I think you have made the correct decision not buying one.

    May I suggest you look on Google pics...there you will always find pics to show splendid well as young trees.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,004
    I've bought one of these but I do have the space for it.   I find the RHS site gives good info on cultivation needs and eventual sizes - 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • is a superb source of information. They offer 13 different cercidiphyllums and are considered one of the premier tree and shrub suppliers. There's also the Hillier Book of Trees and Shrubs, an excellent reference book that is regularly updated. As a volunteer guide in The Savill Garden, where a number of mature cercidiphyllums can be found, I would concur with the other commentators that this is a medium tree and not for a small garden. 
  • Zen DogZen Dog Posts: 51
    Thank you all for such helpful comments and links. Guess it's definitely going to be back to the garden centre to swap for one of the others on my list.....those I DO know about! Haha.
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