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How Fast Do Catalpa Trees Grow? (Quick Answers)

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Catalpa trees belong to the Bignoniaceae family. They are mostly found in North America and Asia. Catalpa trees are known for having heart-shaped leaves. Today, we are going to discuss the growth rate of catalpa trees and see how fast they grow.

How fast do catalpa trees grow?

Catalpa trees are generally known for having a fast growth rate. Most of the catalpa trees can grow up to eighteen to twenty-four inches per year. They do not require a lot of care to maintain their growth rate. Catalpa trees can get as big as fifty to sixty feet in their lifetime. 

Let’s look at a variety of catalpa trees and evaluate how fast they grow.

Northern catalpa:

The scientific name of Northern catalpa is Catalpa speciosa. The other names of Northern catalpa are Western catalpa and Hardy catalpa. Northern catalpa is known as a fast-growing tree.

Northern catalpa is famous for having heart-shaped leaves and white flowers. Northern catalpa trees can grow up to fifty to sixty feet high. Their growth rate falls in the range of somewhere between medium and fast. 

They can grow two feet to four feet in height per year.

Northern catalpa trees need four hours of sunshine per day to maintain their growth rate. The sunshine needs to be directly reflected on the trees. 

Another important thing to remember here is that Northern catalpa trees grow best in Hardiness zone four to Hardiness Zone eight.

Northern catalpa trees can be grown on almost all kinds of soils. But it is best to grow them on acidic and well-drained soil. They are e hard bred of trees that can withstand flood and even dry conditions.

A full grown northern catalpa tree is famous for having unique twists in its branches and trunks. Northern catalpa trees are seen growing in an oval shape. They start yielding flowers seven years from the plantation. 

Their heart shaped leaves can grow up to one feet in height and half a foot in width.

Northern catalpa trees have natural value as a host of hummingbirds. Their white flowers with yellow stripes and purple spots also attract bees. But northern catalpa trees are most popular as ornamental trees. But their woods also come in handy in many sectors.

Do catalpa trees grow fast? Are catalpa trees slow-growing?

Catalpa trees are known as fast-growing trees. There are mainly three varieties of catalpa trees and each of them has a different growth rate. They are Northern catalpa trees, Southern catalpa trees, and Chinese catalpa trees.

For example, Northern catalpa trees have a medium to fast growth rate. They can grow twenty-four to forty-eight inches in height every year. Their growth rate takes them up to fifty to sixty feet in height and twenty to forty feet in width.

On the other hand, Southern catalpa is also a fast-growing tree but their growth rate is not as fast as Northern catalpa trees. They have a growth rate of about twenty to thirty inches per year. With this growth rate, they can reach a height of thirty to forty feet in their lifetime. 

But they grow wider than Northern catalpa trees with a width of thirty to forty feet.

Lastly, Chinese catalpa trees have the slowest growth rate among all the catalpas. They have a growing rate of eighteen to twenty-four inches per year and they can grow twenty to thirty feet in height. But their width is the same as their height.

How long does it take for a catalpa tree to grow mature?

Despite having a fast growth rate, catalpa trees take time to mature. Most of the catalpa trees become mature by the age of twenty years when their height hits twenty feet. Catalpa trees have an average lifespan of sixty years. 

Considering their lifespan, their maturity seems to come at a slow pace.

Height and growing mature are two different things. A tree’s growth can be considered immature even after achieving adequate height if it has not yet started flowering or does not have fully shaped leaves. 

At their mature stage, catalpa trees will produce white flowers with yellow stripes and purple spots.

Catalpa trees will also have fully grown heart shaped leaves that are twelve inches in height and eight inches in width. When catalpa trees become fully mature, birds can be seen taking shelter under them because of their width. 

Catalpa trees also fully blossom as ornamental trees when they grow mature.

3 reasons why catalpa trees are fast-growing

There are many reasons which make catalpa trees a fast-growing tree. They are:

They are perennial:

Catalpa trees are perennial trees. It means they have a long lifespan. Perennial trees also have the ability to blossom for a certain period of time. Catalpa trees produce white flowers every year after they become seven year old. 

Being perennials gives them the ability to be a fast-growing tree. All perennials are not fast growing by born. But most of them are fast growing by nature.

Easy to care:

Catalpa trees are not a demanding variety of trees. They are easy to take care of. Catalpa trees need enough sunshine to grow at a fast rate. They can grow on almost all kinds of soils provided they are well-drained, moist, and acidic. 

The trees which are easy to take care of are usually the ones with a fast growth rate.

Catalpa trees can be grown in Hardiness Zones four to Hardiness Zones eight. They do not need a lot of watering. When they are at an early age, you need to water them on a daily basis when conditions are dry. 

But they require occasional watering when they become mature.

Their diversity and resistance:

Catalpa trees are one of the strongest trees in the world. They can withstand any weather condition. They can survive flood as well as dry and hot conditions. This diversity and resistance give them an edge when it comes to the growth rate. 

No change of weather conditions can alter or harm their growth rate.

How big does a catalpa tree get?

How big a catalpa tree gets depends on the care it is getting. Catalpa trees are not high demanding trees. But they require adequate amount of sunlight regularly to maintain their growth rate. They need at least four hours of sunlight everyday.

Northern catalpa trees can get as big as fifty to sixty feet in terms of height. They can develop twenty to forty feet in width. But southern catalpa trees get less big than northern catalpa trees with a height of thirty to forty feet. 

But their width is twenty to forty feet which is the same as northern catalpa trees.

Chinese catalpa trees are the smallest variety of catalpa with a height of just twenty to thirty feet. Their width is the same as their height. If catalpa trees are taken care of, then they will maintain their growth and reach their potential height and width.

How do you keep a catalpa tree small?

Keeping a catalpa tree small takes a lot of effort. Let’s discuss in detail about the steps you can take to keep a catalpa tree small. They are:

Decide the process:

First of all, you will need to decide the process you want to implement to keep your catalpa tree small. Pruning the tree is the best option in the case of catalpa trees. As it is fast growing tree, building a fence around it will not contain it.

Decide the time:

Then, you will need to decide the time you want to implement the process. Pruning the catalpa trees in the summer works best. You can prune your catalpa tree somewhere between January to March.

Implement the process:

Pruning the catalpa trees can be done with a pruning saw. You can prune the smaller branches with a single cut. But pruning the larger branches will require two to three cuts.The cuts will need to be precise and neat and they will heal quickly.

Another important thing to remember here is that you will have to prune your catalpa tree after every two to three years. You can even prune your catalpa every year if you want to keep your catalpa tree really small.

Final Thoughts

All the varieties of catalpa trees have a fast growth rate. Catalpa trees need four hours of sunlight every day for their growth. Catalpa trees can be grown on almost all kind of soils. But they grow best on well-drained, moist, and acidic soil. Northern catalpa is the fastest growing catalpa tree.

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