Common Name: Katsura tree
Scientific Name: Cercidiphyllum japonicum
Location: Scenic Loop, across from the Wister Rhododendron Garden
Favorite of: Horticulture staff
Everyone on the Horticulture staff at Tyler loves our trees. We each have our favorites, but we all agree that our katsura trees are something special. Native to Asia, katsuras do very well here and would make a great addition to any backyard. They have beautiful heart-shaped leaves that turn a rich gold in the fall. But what makes them really special is that when their leaves start to change color, they give off a smell exactly like cotton candy. It’s uncanny! When the weather turns cool and dry in late September, we all make sure to swing by our row of katsuras as we go about our work in the Arboretum, sniffing as we pass them. When the wind is right the smell is so strong you might even get hints of it in the Stopford Family Meadow Maze, or while walking through the Wister Rhododendron Garden. Make sure you come by this fall, on a clear, cool day when the sky is brilliant blue to see if you can smell them too. But don’t wait until the summer is over — from their purple-tinged new leaves in the spring, to their dappled shade in the summer and beautiful branching in the winter, these trees are worth a visit no matter the season.