The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


September 19, 2013

Respect our trees -- trees have families, too


The Catalpa Tree (Catalpa speciosa) also known as the Catawba, Indian Bean, Cigar tree or fish Bait Tree are from the Bignonia family a group of tropical plants and was derived from the Catawba Native American (tribal totem). The name Catalpa was due to a transcript error (Catawba) on the part of the describing botanist (Scopoli).

These short-lived trees may be as small as 40 feet up to 100 feet. In June, the trees in the area burst into bloom. The blossoms are white, orchid like and with a mild fragrance. Long seed pods follow the flowers and will hang on the tree into winter. It is the main food source for the Sphinx Moth (Ceratomia catalpa). The Catalpa Tree is the only tree that these caterpillars attack. There are two recognized species of Catalpa or Catawba. The Southern Catalpa C. bignonioids and the Northern Catalpa C. specious. The Southern Catalpa is smaller than the Northern Catalpa with leaves that grow in a whorled pattern rather than those opposite each other as in the Northern Catalpa.

Because of the shape of their leaves they are often confused with the Tung Tree (Vernicia fordii) in the southern U.S. or the invasive Paulowuia tomentosa imported from China.

They have brittle lumber that generally is used for fence posting and other wood structures, such as furniture or beams.

The roots of the Catalpa Tree are poisonous. The seeds contain a mild narcotic and should not be consumed.

Tom Powell is a Master Gardener Intern Volunteer at the Bickelhaupt Arboretum, retired construction manager, city of Camanche zoning enforcement officer and past Tree Board member for the city of Camanche.

Text Only
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Akin's back again to talk of rape So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again.You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unl

    July 22, 2014

  • Sadness remains as two-year mark passes in cousins' case As most citizens of the Cedar Valley are well aware, July 13 marked two years since the disappearance of cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey of Evansdale.The passage of time provides some semblance of healing, but the sadness, particul

    July 22, 2014

  • UI needs to keep its admission standards high There’s been a lot of talk lately — most of it coming from the leadership of the Iowa state Board of Regents — about the University of Iowa not being passionate enough about its recruitment of in-state undergraduates. Regent president Bruce Rastetter

    July 21, 2014

  • Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.Eaton is black. The thr

    July 21, 2014 1 Story

  • 7-21-14 David Helscher mug Prepare for possible effects of Fed's decisions It has been more than 5 years since the Federal Reserve has taken unprecedented steps to support the economy through purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed debt securities. This has generally been called quantitative easing and has not been withou

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • What it was like as a teen

    Ten years ago today, I’d like to think I was checking out educational books to prepare myself for my upcoming journey through college.

    In reality, I was probably playing video games and thinking of ways to have fun, while trying not to get into too much trouble.

    July 20, 2014

  • Randy Meier Spoofing practices resurface Spoofing is the practice deliberately falsifying a telephone number and/or name relayed to the caller ID feature of a phone. This type of call right now is the number one phone scam I receive. Many people report receiving calls appearing on caller ID

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Impeaching the president Sarah Palin is right about impeaching President Obama.No, not that the president should be impeached. But Palin is correct in arguing that, for those who assert that Obama has grievously abused his executive authority, impeachment is the proper cours

    July 18, 2014

  • Celebrate the renovated bandshell? Yes, but... I attended the ribbon cutting for the renovated bandshell on July 1. I was a proud member of the Vision 8 team that enabled the project. However, the previous Friday night, June 27, I was also a member of the cast of “Annie Get Your Gun.”When the Nat

    July 18, 2014


With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

     View Results