Gymnocladus dioicus- Kentucky Coffeetree


General: A large, narrow tree with a unique habit consisting of ascending irregular branches and an obovate crown. Grows 60 to 75′ tall with a spread of up to 50′.

LeavesLarge, alternate and bipinnately compound growing to about 3′ long. Each leaf is split into 3 to 7 pairs of pinnae with individual leaflets growing 1 to 3″ long. Very late to emerge (May). Blue green in the summer maturing to yellow in the fall

Bark: Dark brown and rough with scaly ridges

Flowers: Greenish white appearing May- June. Male trees flower in 4″ long clusters and females 12″ long fragrant panicles.

Fruit: In female trees reddish brown to black leathery pods are 5 to 10″ long and appear in October.

Attributes:  A landscape tree for parks, golf courses and large lawns. Due to the lack of seedpods, male trees are sought out in favor of female ones.


Hardiness:  Zones 3-8.

Growing Conditions: Adaptable to soils and urban conditions. Prefers moist, well draining soils and full sun.

Maintenance: No serious insect or disease issues, however, leaf and seed pods lead to littler problems.

Transplanting: Easily transplanted due to adaptability.

Our Experience

Experience at Great Hill

We have one coffeetree in a small nursery field that has suffered storm damage and has been in decline. While we have no other specimens on site, we are familiar with the tree and impressed with not only its unique habit, but its bark texture and early summer flowers. This is an ideal tree for large landscapes or areas in need of a tough tree with one of a kind characteristics. Leaves and seeds are poisonous if ingested.