Cladrastis kentukea

This pea family tree has compound leaves (one leaf made up of 7-9 leaflets) that go from yellow green in the spring to bright green and then clear yellow in the fall. Once established, this attractive medium sized tree blooms in late spring, with beautiful fragrant white flowers resembling wisteria. The tree's name comes from its yellow heartwood.

Power Line Approved: No

Min. street tree planting strip width6 feet

Mature Height: 40 feet

Mature Spread: 30 feet

Tree Shape: Vase shape in youth. Rounded at maturity.

Where to Plant:
Great shade tree for your yard or in a planting strip with no overhead power lines.

Compound leaves (one leaf made up of 7-9 leaflets). Go from bright green in summer to clear yellow in the fall.

Fragrant white flowers hang in clusters like wisteria. Will not bloom until established.

Flat seed pods turn brown and persist into winter, dangling from twig tips.

Preferred Site Conditions:
Full sun in moist but well drained soil. Tolerates some dry soils once established.

Potential Problems:
No serious insect or disease problems. Prune in summer and maintain a strong central leader for good structure.

Minimum Planting Distances:

  • 15 feet from house or building
  • 3 ½ feet back from the face of the curb
  • 5 feet from underground utility lines
  • 10 feet from power poles
  • 7 ½ feet from driveways (10 feet recommended)
  • 20 feet from street lights and other existing trees
  • 30 feet from street intersections

Additional Resources