Tree of the Month: Kentucky Coffeetree

Scientific Name: Gymnocladus dioicus

The Kentucky coffeetree has been considered threatened in Ontario since 2008 through the Endangered Species Act, due to lack of suitable habitats and poor seed production.

Quick Facts

  • Can grow up to 15 – 25 metres tall, and 60 centimetres in diameter
  • Leaves are the largest in Canada at
    60 – 90 centimetres
  • Can survive up to 75 years
  • Soil: moist, rich soil; however the Kentucky coffeetree can tolerate shallow rocky or sandy soils
  • Shade intolerant, often relying on the shade of other trees in its surrounds.
  • As the leaves on the tree mature, so do its flowers in late May to late June. The flowers bloom in in a greenish-white colour and give off a rose-like fragrance.
  • Roughly 9 months of the year are spent without leaves
  • Fruit Production
    • Hard, dark and leathery bean-like pods
    • Typically 15 – 25 centimetres long with 4 – 7 seeds in them
    • Fruit remains on the trees throughout the winter months

For more information about the Kentucky Coffee Tree, click here.

Image Source

Arbor Day Foundation