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Cladrastis kentuckea /Yellowwood

Cladrastis kentuckea  / Cladrastis kentuckea
Excellent autumn color at Ann Arbor, MI
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Excellent autumn color at Ann Arbor, MI

Summer foliage

Close-up of compound leaves

Yellow leaves in autumn

Tree in the National Arboretum in Washington, DC

Tree has a rounded canopy

A tree in new leaf in spring

Leaves are relatively large and compoound

New leaves with flower buds nestled among them in early May

Grayish bark on trunk of young tree

A mature tree in Washington, DC

Tree in flower

A number of inflorescences

Inflorescence made up of white flowers similar to those of wisteria

Seed pods typical of legumes which this tree is.

A large mture tree

Many branched trunk

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Scientific Name: Cladrastis kentuckea
Common Name: Yellowwood
Plant Type: Deciduous
Leaf Type: Broadleaf
Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7 Determine Your Zone
Height: 30-50 feet
Spread: 30 - 40 feet
Bloom time: Spring
Flower color: White
Fruit present: Fall
Fruit color: Brown
Light Exposure: Sun
Drainage: Well drained, Moist
Rate of Growth: Moderate
Water Requirement: Medium
Maintenance Level: Low
Susceptible to insects
and diseases:
Landscape Categories: Plants for Autumn Color
Plants for Xeriscapes
Plants with Fragrance
Comments: An excellent, easy to grow, shade tree in the upper South and farther north. Has fragrant, white, wisteria-like blooms in spring. Heartwood is stained yellow by a naturally occurring dye in the plant. Good fall color of yellow. Be patient, tree may not flower for six or more years, and once it reaches flowering maturity, it may not flower every year. Reported to more likely bloom every other year. Not easy to get established in the landscape. Turf grows reasonably well under canopy because of the deep root system of the yellowwood.