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The fast growth of the Catalpa tree is remarkably useful as a shade tree, however, the wood is soft. In the fall, foot-long bean-shaped pods hang low and eventually turn brown, giving the tree its nickname, the "cigar tree". The tree is a fast-growing shade tree that provides a good source of free worms for fishing throughout the Summer months. Every fisherman would do well to have a few Catalpa Trees planted on his land to grow his own fish bait worms. Winter exposes the ornate, twisted branch structure beneath. Worms love to eat the large 1 ft. long leaves that grow on the Catalpa Tree. The large heart-shaped leaves of the Catalpa tree sometimes grow as large as a human head, and the dense shade of the Catalpa tree leaves will form an excellent habitat for wildlife bird nests and small game.