Cercidiphyllum – the apple toffee tree

arbre caramel

This smallish tree comes from Japan, and definitely lends a distinctive Asian touch to any garden.

Core Cercidiphyllum facts

NameCercidiphyllum japonicum
and Cercidiphyllum magnificum
Common nameskatsura, caramel tree
FamilyCercidiphyllaceae

Type – medium-sized tree
Height – 16-50 feet (5-15 m)
Exposure – full sun and part sun
Soil – rich is better

Foliage – deciduous
Flowering – none
Use – Japanese garden, bonsai

Simple guidelines for planting, care and pruning are only the beginning: discover the varieties and yummy tidbits that this species has in store for you!

Planting Cercidiphyllum

  • Preferably in fall. This allows for root development during winter.
  • Follow our advice on planting trees.

Key takeaways for proper planting include exposure and soil.

Proper exposure for Cercidiphyllum

Cercidiphyllum is happiest with a reasonable amount of light.

  • In temperate climates, this usually means full sun.
  • In tropical climates, this means part shade, under a larger tree.

Soil best suited for Cercidiphyllum

This is one of the easiest plants to satisfy.

  • All it needs is rich soil that is not too subject to drought.

It can take on both acidic and alkaline soil, wet & waterlogged soil, and even salty soil. Heavy clay soil isn’t a problem, either.

Pruning Cercidiphyllum

  • It isn’t necessary to prune it.
  • It naturally branches out into a harmonious silhouette.

You may, if needed, reduce the size of the shrub or to balance growth in spring.

  • When pruning, go ahead and collect cuttings to root them. This will give you many new seedlings that are identical in beauty to the original!

Multiplying Cercidiphyllum

Cercidiphyllum is a plant that can be multiplied in various ways.

From most successful to least successful, here are the techniques that work best:

  • Seed propagation for cercidiphyllum
  • Cercidiphyllum layering
  • Cuttings prepared from cercidiphyllum

Find these methods described in this article: how to multiply cercidiphyllum.

Note that this is a dioecious plant. This means each tree is either male OR female, but not both. It isn’t self-fertile.

  • To have seeds, you’d need one of each within the same neighborhood.
  • Seeds would only appear on a female tree.

Remarkable Cercidiphyllum varieties

Actually, Cercidiphyllum is a small family (or genus, to be specific). Only two species are attached to it.

The more common one is Cercidiphyllym japonicum.

  • It is the one most sold in nurseries across the planet.

However, the rarer Cercidiphyllum magnificum is also quite a stunner.

All there is to know about Cercidiphyllum

Cercidiphyllum is native to Asia. It is considered a tree that grows quickly.

  • Fall is when it is clearly the most spectacular with fire-like hues of yellow, orange and red.

During the rest of the year, it bears cute tender green leaves and just before leaf appearance, a very light blooming.

In winter, it stays attractive thanks to its bark. Furrows form as the tree ages in a up-and-down pattern that draws attention and is appealingly regular.

  • other trees that have beautiful bark

Smart tip about Cercidiphyllum, the caramel tree

Mulch is always recommended to retain soil moisture in summer and protect from the cold in winter.