Thread: "Bean" tree

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  1. #1
    Oak
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    290

    "Bean" tree

    I don't have a pic, but this tree grows what look like long string/green beans and have large leaves. Do you know what it's called? (West Virginia)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,589

    RE: "Bean" tree

    It's probably a Catalpa

  3. #3

    RE: "Bean" tree

    Yeah it would probably be either a Northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) or a Southern catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides).

    More than likely it would be a Northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)

  4. #4
    Oak
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Central Oklahoma - Zone 7 for now
    Posts
    548

    RE: "Bean" tree

    And fwiw, Catalpa trees usually have a kind of worm/caterpillar on them that makes for *outstanding* fishing bait. If you are into fishing anyways I have no idea if those worms are in W Virginia, but fishin'-folk here/Texas will buy worms off of a strangers tree(s) in a heartbeat. *I've* done it, and caught some nice catfish... So if you see the worms eating the leaves, and have a fishin' pole, enjoy the day!

    A kind of weird, but neat, thing I've seen with Catalpas is that when they are chopped hard at around 10-15' tall (tornados usually, or very old tree cut back under power lines), it always regrows the canopy, without further pruning, to resemble a mushroom. It gives itself a near-perfect bonsai shape/configuration within a few years and stays that way for quite a few years. Two of these at my dgtr's school have stayed the same for 6 years now (???) with good health and appearance (and heaps of said 'beans'!).

    Alex

  5. #5
    Oak
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    290

    RE: "Bean" tree

    Thanks, that must be it! I never heard about the worms, the people who own the tree like to fish. Is it native to WV or was it planted years ago?

  6. #6

    RE: "Bean" tree

    My relatives planted a Southern Catalpa years ago and they use the caterpillars for fishing. The caterpillars are commonly called Catalpa worms. The Catalpa sphinx Moth deposits the eggs in mound-like masses on the under surface of leaves of catalpa trees and the worms hatch and feed on the leaves which the caterpillars will eventually turn into new Catalpa sphinx Moths. It has been used by fishermen all the way back to the 1870's.

    Southern catalpa is native to southern AL.
    Northern Catalpa is native along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in the states of TN, AR, MO, IL, KY, and IN.

    Although the Northern Catalpa natural native range is not in WV, it is planted in almost every state in the Eastern and Midwestern U.S. because it is ornamental and good for fishing bait and it has also became established in many areas outside its natural native range. The Catalpa they have was likely planted years ago.

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