28. Katsura

(Ceridiphyllum japonicum)

Family: Cercidiphyllaceae

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Padelford Hall is shadowy and lush with a forest-like setting of Katsura trees and Scots pines. Katsura has a Japanese name, but it is native to Japan and China. Its roundish heart-shaped leaves are bronze as they emerge in spring, then green all summer before lighting up in fall in yellow, apricot or red. Fall's glowing colors are often accompanied by a fragrance of burnt sugar, strawberries, or cotton candy. As long as katsuras receive sufficient summer moisture they do well in our climate and soils, growing large and proving hardy, disease-free and long lived.

The katsura was introduced to the United States in 1865 by Thomas Hogg, who sent seeds from Japan to his brother for propagation in their family nursery in New York. The trees wood is white, soft, and fine-grained and is used in cabinetry, paneling, furniture, building interiors and boxes.

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