Cake tree I Unfortunately there are no gingerbread cookies growing on the gingerbread tree!

11.11.2021
Obwohl an ihm leider keine Lebkuchen wachsen, ist der sogenannte Lebkuchenbaum eine Besonderheit. Nach und während dem Blattabwurf im Winter verströmt er nämlich einen leckeren Duft nach Karamell und Zimt.

- (Source © Baumschule Horstmann DE) -

Japanese cake tree / katsura tree /

Although unfortunately no gingerbread grows on it, the so-called gingerbread tree is a specialty. After and during the leaf shedding in winter, it gives off a delicious scent of caramel and cinnamon.

The Japanese cake tree / katsura tree / gingerbread tree is the last and only representative of its kind that existed 65 million years ago. It owes the name Japanese cake tree to its original homeland and its pleasantly fragrant foliage. Nobody can resist this delicious smell of fresh pastries and gingerbread. A wood that is recommended as a fantastic house tree. With its aroma (bot.) Cercidiphyllum japonicum enchants the nose and with its foliage it is a splendid sight. This ornamental wood will be in top form in autumn! The leaves of the tree shine from afar in brilliant yellow to scarlet red colors.

Even before the leaves shoot in spring, the katsura tree or gingerbread tree produces small, reddish clusters of flowers. They are a wonderful detail that the plant lover is fascinated by. The rather inconspicuous flowers of the Japanese cake tree are located in the leaf axils. The female flowers are reddish, the male white. After flowering, so-called follicle fruits develop in the leaf axils of this enchanting wood. These are five to six millimeter long pods that contain the seeds. The leaves shoot from May, which are initially pale bronze in color and later fresh to pale green. In autumn the leaves take on luminous nuances that change between yellow and red. In a shadier spot, the leaves appear cream-colored. The leaves of the tree show themselves with a special peculiarity. They are dimorphic, so they appear in two different forms on the katsura tree. Depending on where they are: leaves on the short shoots are heart-shaped. The broad, oval to elliptical leaves are opposite on the long shoots. Cercidiphyllum japonicum grows as a tree or a large multi-stemmed shrub and reaches heights of eight to ten meters. The katsura tree can be raised as a high trunk so that it develops a spreading crown. In front of evergreen trees and on large lawns it looks wonderful and unfolds its presence in a unique way. Young plants can be grown as a large shrub in a tub. Due to its good winter hardiness, the gingerbread tree survives in the garden all year round. Even specimens of the Japanese cake tree / katsura tree / gingerbread tree in the bucket can easily overwinter outside. Only the young shoots are slightly at risk of late frost. Japanischer Kuchenbaum / Katsurabaum / Lebkuchenbaum

When choosing the right location, care must be taken to ensure that there is sufficient distance to other trees, the katsura tree does not like too dense vegetation. It presents itself with preference as a solitaire and attracts all visitors with its fragrance. Cercidiphyllum japonicum prefers cool locations in light shade with sufficient air and soil moisture. The soil is permeable, deep, nutrient-rich and acidic to alkaline, ideal for the wood. Sandy-loamy soils are ideally suited. The gingerbread tree also thrives on stony loam and sandy clay soils. The splendid autumn color of the leaves is much more intense on acidic surfaces. In its original homeland in East Asia, the Japanese cake tree thrives in forests, on the edges of forests and along rivers and streams. The need for water in the home garden is also high, especially in summer. Constant and copious watering is therefore advisable. In very dry soils, the plant reacts by shedding leaves. Therefore, a pouring edge is recommended at the beginning. In this way, the precious water does not flow past the roots unused. In order to meet the nutritional requirements of this attractive ornamental wood, it is advisable to incorporate ripe compost or horn shavings in the spring. As a rule, pruning is not necessary. The Japanese cake tree develops into a graceful tree without pruning. However, it makes sense to regularly cut out dead branches and shoots of the katsura tree. In order to restrict the crown for reasons of space, only the annual shoots are to be shortened. In this way, the gingerbread tree retains its beautiful shape and remains a beautiful and extraordinarily fragrant eye-catcher in the garden for many years.

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