Known for its flowers, fruit and large, heart-shaped leaves, the Northern Catalpa is native along rivers in the south-central United States. The 2-inch-long flower blooms in early June and is followed shortly thereafter with the long, slender, pod-shaped fruit. Catalpa wood is rot resistant and has been used for railroad ties. However, the wood is also brittle, which makes Catalpas susceptible to wind and ice damage.
Catalpas are not recommended for the average urban setting. This particular Catalpa was an excellent specimen, standing 83 feet with a circumference of nearly 13 feet. It also survived a lightning strike in the late 1980s. However, it has since been removed due to decay.