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How to Harvest Catalpa Tree Seeds From Beans

By Bridget Kelly
Catalpa trees have lovely, heart-shaped leaves.
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The catalpa is a large tree, grown as an accent planting or for shade. Hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 through 8, catalpa trees thrive in moist soil, in full sun to partial shade. Fall and winter finds the tree in full fruit, which resembles long string beans. The pods will open spontaneously when they ripen, but the seeds will either be scattered on the wind or lost on the ground. Collect the pods in late fall or early winter before they open.

Lay the catalpa seed pods on a concrete floor, such as in the garage or a carport or driveway and walk over them. Horticulturists with Colorado State University warn that you should not bear down hard or stomp, as you walk, but walk over the pods enough to break them open.

Gather the winged catalpa seeds and place them in a bowl.

Separate the seeds from the chaff and put them in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store the seeds until the spring when they can be planted into the garden.


Things You Will Need

  • Bowl
  • Glass jar

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.