Answer: Cercidiphyllum japonicum, the Katsura tree, is native to China and Japan. It grows best in full sun or light shade, appreciates slightly acidic, rich, moist soil, and will eventually reach 40' in height. It has many virtues - the foliages changes color during the growing season (it emerges reddish-purple, becomes bluish green in summer, then turns yellow to apricot in autumn), falling foliage has a fragrance of brown sugar, the bark is somewhat shaggy, and the tree has a pyramidal form.
Once you've found just the right spot for your Katsura tree, dig a hole larger than the root mass, place a mound of soil at the bottom of the hole, then carefully drape the roots over the mound so they fall in a natural fashion. Backfill the planting hole, tamping the soil down lightly as you go. The tree should be at the same soil level as it was in the container. Once you've tamped the soil down, create a basin around the tree trunk to catch and hold water. Water your tree well after planting, and be sure to water once each week throughout its first year. Flood the basin with water and allow it to trickle down slowly, to wet the entire root mass. You can flood the basin 2-3 times each time you water to make sure the roots get enough water. Enjoy your beautiful new tree!
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