The Katsura (Tree) in Gothenburg: Smells of Freshly-Baked Bread


The common trees in Sweden are Norway spruce, Scots pine, birch, aspen, alder, sallow, mountain ash, beech, maple, elm, ash, lime, hornbeam and wild cherry. And, the three most common trees are Norway spruce, Scots pine and birch (björk). Sweden is one of the very few countries in the world whose two thirds of land is covered by forest of various kinds. The forests mean a lot to people both economically and ecologically, and forest pursuits are one of the popular aspects of Swedish lifestyle but by emphasizing on sustainability.


Among the tree diversity of Sweden is a tree that stands out for its presence. And, that tree grows at the Botanical Garden of Gothenburg. The tree is called the Katsura. The botanical name of Katsura is Cercidiphyllym japonicum. It is a native tree of China and Japan. The tree at the Botanical Garden was planted in 1932.

Cercidiphyllym japonicum usually grows wild in most of Japan and in some areas of central China. The genus Cercidiphyllym is estimated to have lived on earth for tens of millions of years. It is one of the ancient deciduous trees.

SMELLS OF FRESHLY-BAKED BREAD: The Katsura is a deciduous tree—a tree that sheds leaves seasonally that are no longer needed or their purpose is finished like baby teeth. In autumn, when the tree sheds its leaves, it also produces a smell that is similar to freshly-baked bread. Some attribute the smell to caramel, when the tree sheds its leaves, and there also called the caramel tree.

The Katsura grows almost to 45 metres and it has long branches. The leaves of the tree shows seasonal coloration and also bears fruits. The tree is listed as one of the endangered trees in China. The tree is also introduced in the USA and Canada in the middle of nineteenth century.