The American Yellowwood, or Cladrastis kentukea, is a low-branching native shade tree exhibiting a broad, rounded crown and a trunk that strongly resembles a beech tree with the same smooth, gray bark. This tree puts on a spectacular display every third year in May and June – it appears to be raining creamy white flowers 8-14 inches long! These beautiful flowers stand out among the pea-green summer leaves that take on a yellow to golden-yellow fall color. The American Yellowwood grows 30-50 feet high and spreads 40-55 feet wide. The heartwood is yellow, hence the name. Native to limestone cliffs, it nevertheless tolerates a wide range of soil conditions from high-pH to acidic. Although it is unfortunately not very common anywhere, American Yellowwood is a choice shade tree for small properties. Plant one today and enjoy!
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