Katsura Red Fox

(Question)

Hello,

First of all do you know how old the Katsura Red Fox at Edwards Garden is?

I wanted to plant one in a small space in our front yard but after seeing the tree at Edwards I was surprised at how wide it can grow. I measured the width to be at 8 feet. I thought it was a columnar tree that is good for small spaces. Can pruning help me keep it in a small space?

And finally will it grow well in full sun, south-east facing lot, in the open?

Thanks!

(Answer)

Well, as many urban gardeners learn by painful error, growers’ definition of “small spaces” can be quite unrealistic. The Red Fox Katsura Tree will grow at a medium rate to be about 40 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 feet. There is no way that it can be pruned down to be a small tree.

Further, according to nursery descriptions, this tree does best in full sun to partial shade, in average to moist conditions, in a sheltered location and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It prefers rich, acidic soils.

So, unless you have a larger space with the growing conditions the Red Fox Katsura prefers, I’d suggest you consider a different tree.

You might like to consider a blooming tree, such as those described in our Gardening Guide on Blooming Deciduous Trees and Shrubs. And you might also find our Guide to Planting a Tree helpful.

I don’t know the age of trees in Edwards Gardens. However, if you found the tree on the site of the Toronto Botanical Garden, that series of garden areas and the large building adjacent to the Edwards Garden park at the corner of Lawrence and Leslie, is only 6 years old.

By the way, do you know that the City will plant a front yard tree for you, free of charge? Check out that program here Free tree.

I hope that you find a tree to love, wherever you get it!