Next door are several large Catalpa trees and every year they have these large pods that drop and sometimes hit people walking by. This year there are no pods. Why are there no pods?
Thank you for your question about your neighbour’s catalpa trees. Without knowing which species or particular cultivar of that species the trees are, it is hard to be exact.
From what you are saying, the tree did not produce any pods, which is probably safer for passersby! Many things could have caused this, including a late frost, insufficient rain, insufficient nutrients in the soil, or even the natural cycle of this tree.
On the Missouri Botanical Gardens site, under Noteworthy Characteristics of Catalpa speciosa, there is a statement: “Abundant pods are produced every 2 to 3 years.” The Chicago Botanical Garden states the same information.
If the tree appears to be otherwise healthy, there is nothing to worry about. However, if your neighbour sees it as a problem, s/he can always consult a certified arborist for an inspection. Ontario Commercial Arborists Association will soon have a Find An Arborist feature on its website (www.isaontario.com
For now, the Landscape Ontario website, (www.horttrtades.com
) is the place to find a certified tree care professional in your area.