The catalpa trees in our area this year flowered, but produced no bean pods. Why? The trees are 15-20 years old. City of Anoka, MN. The leaves are also small this year. About the size of my hand. In previous years, they have been extremely beautiful flowering trees and then producing pods.
We don't know why the trees didn't produce pods. Many people have also been commenting about an absence of acorns this year.
In the catalpas' case, pollinating insects may have been scarce or conditions unfavorable for their activity when the trees were in flower.
The reduced leaf size is of greater concern. This suggests that trees are reacting to stress of some kind.
We recommend watchful waiting to see how the trees perform next year. If there is more evidence of decline, please contact us again or ask a forester or certified arborist to help you determine the cause.