PlantFiles: American Yellowwood, Kentucky Yellowwood Cladrastis lutea
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Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Bloom Color: White/Near White
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
Seed Collecting: Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
I have a beautiful Yellowwood in my back yard. I bought it at the Trees Atlanta annual sale about 5+ years ago and it just bloomed this spring. What a fabulous surprise! Love this tree. I am going to attempt to propagate by seed. So, add Atlanta, GA to a region it thrives in, especially when we get rain. It is in a full sun, low lying, meadow-like environment.
This plant survived 3 weeks of not being watered, while in its pot, in the summer, then being stripped by deer the following spring. It is now 5 years old in my garden and doing beautifully - pruned to a lovely shape. I am anxious to see it bloom and smell the fragrance. It is grown on side streets in Keene NH and does well.
On Dec 2, 2006, ViburnumValley from Scott County, KY (Zone 5b) wrote:
American yellowwood is an excellent medium-size shade tree for the Ohio River valley and central US. The smooth gray bark is reminiscent of American beech; the arching vase-shaped habit mimics the much larger American elm; the pendulous fragrant white flower clusters could just as well hang from wisteria vines; and the fall colors in golden yellows hinting towards orange just glow in the setting sun. Oh, and it's a native, too.
The former national champion was at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, OH. The current national champion grows in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville KY. There are many fine specimens planted around this part of the country as well as locations where one might see yellowwood as part of the indigenous woodlands (Yellowwood State Forest in Indiana; the Palisades of the Kentucky River in KY's Bluegrass region). Anyone who lives with calcareous soils ought to have at least one to enjoy.
On Aug 16, 2005, gonedutch from Fairport, NY wrote:
The grower of my pink-flowering Yellowwood had less than a 50 percent survival rate and only two survivors with pink flowers (see image). In my upstate NY garden it has done well in full sun with periodic watering during dry spells. It survived a late-winter cold snap while a nearby Davidea (Dove Tree) did not. I agree with others that any pruning must be done in summer or winter to avoid excessive fluid loss. The pendelous floral display against its green foliage and grey bark is well worth the two year wait!
On May 13, 2005, carrieebryan from Independence, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:
I planted my Cladrastis last October. The new leaves this spring looked dandy until we had some late frosts in April, which damaged or outright killed just about all of them. I had a few scary weeks of watching the leaves turn brown and crispy, but now (mid-May) a new, 2nd set of leaves is starting to bud out.