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Do you know cake trees?

Do you know cake trees?

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Maybe you already know the cake tree, but you probably haven't heard of it yet. He is actually still very unknown to us, but really a small highlight.

The leaves of the cake tree smell of gingerbread in autumn

Even if you don't believe it, this plant is really called cake tree (Cercidiphyllum) - not because you can eat it, but because it smells of gingerbread in autumn, when the leaves change color. Delicious, isn't it? That is why it is also called gingerbread tree. Perhaps you have also come across the alternative name Katsura tree. Either way, it smells wonderful and also looks very nice.

The tree is also a real rarity, because of this very old genus there are only two species in the wild. However, many new ornamental types of the cake tree were grown, which are now available as small trees in the nursery. It is always worth it, because the tree not only smells wonderful in autumn, it also changes color constantly. The gingerbread tree always ensures variety. The leaves are bright red in spring, green-blue over summer and yellow to dark red in autumn.

Plant the cake tree in the garden


Cake trees need a lot of light. But they don't like it warm. So choose a bright place in the garden where it does not get so hot. The tree must not get too much shade. So don't plant it right next to other trees. And not right next to the building. The cake tree can finally grow up to 12 meters high in our latitudes (otherwise up to 45 meters high). Therefore it is not so good if it is right next to a house. Not because of the roots alone.


Sandy clay or stony clay soils are perfect for the katsura tree. If you cannot offer this floor to the gingerbread tree, simply mix in sand or clay at the location. In addition, the pH should be between 5 and 7. A slightly acidic to neutral soil is ideal for the gingerbread tree. So it can make sense to test the soil pH before planting. Read here how to do it.


In the trade you can buy the cake tree as a small tree with a size of approx. 50 centimeters. Now lift twice the root ball, loosen the soil in the planting hole and work compost into the soil. Then insert the cake tree so that the bale is flush with the ground. Then fill the excavation back into the planting hole and only start lightly. Finally, it is advisable to put a watering ring around the tree, as it makes watering much easier.

You can also keep the cake tree on the terrace. Of course, it doesn't get that big in a pot. There it is also easy to keep in check and becomes bushy if you cut it again and again. This also makes it clear that it is hardy and can hibernate outside even in a pot.

How to properly care for the cake tree

Once planted, you no longer have to put in a lot of effort. The cake tree is really easy to care for. You don't even have to cut or make any arrangements in winter. Only watering and fertilizing every year is important.

To water:

Cake trees need a lot of water. If he gets too little water, he shows it immediately. He then leaves his leaves hanging or even throws them off in extreme cases. As soon as you water it regularly and abundantly, the tree will sprout again.

If the summer is very dry and the air humidity is accordingly low, it is also advisable to spray the gingerbread tree in the crown regularly with water. However, only do this if it is cloudy or in the early morning or late evening hours, otherwise the leaves could burn.


You don't have to pay much attention when fertilizing. It is enough if you supply the katsura tree with well-ripened compost once a year.