The Katsura Tree: Cotton Candy Autumn

Katsura Trees, Miami University
Katsura Trees, Miami University

The diversity of trees on Miami University’s campus is truly showcased in the fall. Right now, each tree is growing more and more unique, with leaves turning shades of purple, red, yellow, orange. The Katsura tree’s spade-shaped leaves turn yellow before quickly dropping on the ground, and here is where the true fun begins.

Unlike other trees on campus, the Katsura tree’s leaves smell like cotton candy, or perhaps caramelized sugar—in short, they smell very nice.  They begin to give off their aroma when they turn yellow and litter the ground beneath the trees, so when you notice all the trees putting on their fall colors, head over to breathe in the nearest Katsura’s wonderful scent.

Our campus’s Katsuras are planted in a clump, behind the Shriver Center at the intersection of Spring Street and Maple Street. Katsuras are unique in structure – short trees that resemble a hunk of broccoli more than anything. Their trunks are thick and don’t go on for very long, soon giving way to a large head of boughs. The leaves that thickly cover the boughs are on the small side, maybe an inch long or so, but for what they lack in beauty, they make up for in scent.

Be sure to experience this little gift from nature while it is in season!

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