Transplanting trees and propagating more from cuttings.
I have never seen a catalpa worm. I have had tons of folks tell me about using them for fishing bait.When I was a kid, we fished with catalpa worms every summer. We knew where every catalpa tree in our rural county was.
Funny story: A new comer to our county sprayed her catalpa tree with insecticide because worms were all over her tree and eating all the leaves. She was almost run out of the county.
Nowadays there are still catalpa trees, but rarely if ever any catalpa worms.
The theory is that fire ants have been the demise of catalpa worms because part of catalpa worms' life cycle involves being on and in the ground:
Like most other Sphingidae, Ceratomia catalpae will burrow into the ground after its fifth and final instar in order to pupate. The larvae will go into a "wandering" stage where it leaves the Catalpa tree and climbs to the ground to find a place to bury itself so that it may pupate. The larvae will then shed its fifth instar skin to reveal its pupal skin, which will be soft and almost translucent at first, but will then harden to a light brown for protection from the elements.-------------
That makes them fire ant food.
I wonder if Catalpa attacks lighting like the black walnut trees.Catulpas have such thin bark when young any abrasion / damage will leave an opening for core rot that won't become apparent for many years, it's a very soft heartwood that any water//fungus reaching through the bark now guarantees a hollow cored mature tree - they grow so well & fast from seed its an ideal candidate for over-seeding an area and then every couple of years thin to keep the most robust saplings.
If you're transplanting be extra cautious against wounding the sapling trunk, even wrap it before starting - and be choosy no trees get dug that are scarred up; same goes for nursery stock - careful selection now will prevent trouble XX years down the line.
I've got two 36"-plus and one 32" trunk base Catuplas out in the side yard here, about northern limits of their growth - we're loosing the biggest one from lightning damage 30+ years ago, it is so large it can no longer 'outgrow' the diseases creeping through it and it's lost half the bark on the side the lightning touched, only half the foliage appeared two years ago and it's not getting any better...