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Kentucky Coffeetree

Gymnocladus dioicus

GIS Coordinate:
N40 21.228 W94 52.989

Trail Number:
T10

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Description

Family:
Fabaceae

Foliage:
Leaves are alternate, bipinnately compound, and 36 inches long with six to 14 leaflets

Native Locale:
New York to Pennsylvania to Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Tennessee

Mature Height:
60 to 75 feet

Mature Width:
40 to 50 feet

Hardiness Zones:
Zone 3b to 8

Soil Preference:
Prefers deep, rich, moist soils; is adaptable to chalk (limestone), drought, and city conditions

Growth Habit:
Usually develops vertically ascending branches which form a narrow, obovate crown; barelimbed and somewhat clumsy looing in winter

Rate of Growth:
Slow to Medium, growing 12 to 14' over a 10 year period

Disease and Insect:
None serious

Landscape Value:
n/a

Additional Notes:

  • It is one of the last trees to leaf out in the spring. Leathery pods 5 to 10 inches long form on female trees and make it identifiable in the winter. It is somewhat messy with falling leaflets and pods. Seeds are poisonous when raw but it is believed the pioneers roasted them to substitute for coffee, hence the common name.

Photos

Leaf - Kentucky CoffeetreeSummer - Kentucky Coffeetree