Saturday, June 22, 2013

Nature Day here at the Sherwood Forest Bed and Breakfast

The Catalpa Tree

At the Forest, we have many of these babies. Mostly deciduous trees, they typically grow to 60-75 feet tall and about 20–39 ft wide at their max.  A 10-year-old sapling will stand about 20 ft tall, though the ones next to the creek in the backyard it seems grow twice as fast.  They can be recognized by their large, heart-shaped to three-lobed leaves, showy white or yellow flowers in broad panicles, and in the autumn by their 8–20 in long fruits (the squirrels love em), which resemble a slender bean pod, containing numerous small flat seeds, each seed having two thin wings to aid in wind dispersal. Due to their large leaf size, catalpas provide very dark shade and are a popular habitat for many birds, providing them good shelter from rain and wind. These trees have very little limb droppage, but drop large, dark brown bean pods during late summer. When we moved here, the old timers would tell me that they were planted as fence posts and their branches interwoven because of their fast growth. Totally dig this tree!

Brought to you by the friendly folks at 
Sherwood Forest Bed and Breakfast

Sherwood Forest Bed and Breakfast
Saugatuck/Douglas, Michigan 49406

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