Kentucky Coffee Tree is a neat looking tree in all four seasons, but is best admired in the winter because of the contorted branching, unique bark and decorative clusters of large pods rattling in the wind.
Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioicus)
What is the worst crime a tree can commit?
Did you know?
- The naked appearance of the tree is reflected through the trees Greek genus name (Gymnocladus), which means "naked branch". This name refers to the large, coarse branches that remain after the leaves fall
- The wood is used to make furniture, cabinets, and fence posts
- It gets its name because early Kentucky settlers roasted seeds from the tree as a coffee substitute
- Even though it is a legume, it cannot “fix” nitrogen—this is a process where nitrogen in the atmosphere is converted into another form of nitrogen—most nitrogen that is harvested is turned into ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites, which are used by plants
- Kentucky Coffee Tree
- Coffee Tree
- Birds use it for nesting and shelter
- 60-75' tall, with a crown width of 40-50'
- Full sun to partial shade
- Moist, well-drained soil
Select Identification Characteristics:
- Leaf Type: Bipinnately Compound
- Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
- Bud Arrangement: Alternate
- Terminal Bud: Absent