The American Yellowwood Tree (Cladrastis kentuckea) is a very pretty tree that’s rather uncommon in the Northeast. Although the Yellowwood is hardy to Zone 4, it is more likely found from the Southeast with a range that extends as far west as Oklahoma and south to Alabama.
This uncommon tree get its name from the yellow color of its heartwood. The bark of the Yellowwood tree is an attractive, smooth light grey. Early in summer, the tree produces fragrant, white, pea-like flowers. This tree also produces fruit in the form of pods, each containing a few seeds. The foliage ranges from bright green in summer to a show mix of yellow, orange, and gold in the fall. The Yellowwood is a medium sized tree, growing to 33 to 49 feet tall.
When adding a Yellowwood tree to your yard, choose a spot in full sun with well drained soil. This tree needs to be pruned every summer, so keep that chore in mind when deciding if this species is good for your yard. You may need to protect the tree from sun scald and wind during the harsh winter months.
Another positive aspect of the Yellowwood tree is its health. This particular tree is free from major diseases and pests. If you are looking for a beautiful ornamental tree that will thrive in a suburban, or even urban, environment, the American Yellowwood Tree might be right for you!