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Information About Kentucky Coffeetree

Information About Kentucky Coffeetree


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Kentucky Coffeetree Care – Learn How To Grow Kentucky Coffeetrees

By Teo Spengler

If you decide to start growing a Kentucky coffeetree in your garden, it will definitely make a one-of-a-kind statement but you'll need to know something about the tree and its care. Click on the following article for Kentucky coffeetree information.

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Audubon® Kentucky Coffeetree

We currently do not deliver to your area at this time, please contact us to discuss other options.

A capital perching tree, Kentucky Coffee Tree will give your backyard birds a fine vantage point from which to survey the land. This noble native grows tall and vase-shaped it makes an excellent replacement for the majestic Ash Trees that have been decimated by the emerald Ash borer in recent years. Coffee Tree’s huge leaves are composed of dozens of small leaflets that create a pool of dappled shade under the tree—you’ll find this the perfect spot for growing shade-loving plants that provide additional wildlife habitat. In late spring, hummingbirds may visit the greenish-white flowers on female trees.

Take Birds Under Your Wing

New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees

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  • Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)

Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.

  • The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
  • This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
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Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.

Size AA (2-3' tall) container grown
Size A (4-5' tall) container grown
Size B (5-6' tall) container grown

Growth Facts

The Story

Coffee anyone? The Kentucky Coffee Tree gives off a tropical vibe, though it’s native to the U.S. This majestic tree is found throughout the Lower Midwest, but only in isolated patches. It gets its name from the fact that settlers used to roast and grind its seeds to make a coffee substitute. The roasting was an important step, because the seeds are toxic if eaten raw. It’s doubtful that the Coffee Tree drink tasted any good, because once the settlers had access to the real thing, they never made it again. Coffee Tree is a dioecious plant, which means that male flowers and female flowers are found on separate trees. Only female trees produce seeds.

The Details

Kentucky Coffee Tree is one of the last trees to leaf out in the spring, so be patient! When the foliage does emerge, it’s a bright pink color, maturing to a cool blue-green. In fall, the leaflets turn a wonderful radiant yellow, while the leaf stems take on hot pink tones.

How to Grow

Looking for an easy-to-please shade tree? Kentucky Coffee Tree is simple to grow and forgiving of harsh conditions. Give it a site in full sun. Deep, loamy soils on the alkaline side suit it best, but this tree tolerates poor soil. Irrigate with the Bower & Branch Elements™ Watering System to help your tree get off to a strong start. Once established, your Coffee Tree will be quite drought tolerant. It can also handle extreme heat and humidity, winter lows to -30°F, de-icing salts, and air pollution! Young trees will have very little branching, and no pruning will be needed however, suckers may appear from the roots from time to time and should be pulled out. Coffee Trees have no major pest or disease issues to worry about.


Espresso™ Kentucky Coffeetree

We currently do not deliver to your area at this time, please contact us to discuss other options.

We’re excited about this tree, and it’s not just the caffeine talking. Espresso™ Kentucky Coffee Tree is a regal shade tree that projects a commanding presence. It will rise up tall and proud in your landscape, eventually developing a vase-like shape. Its chunky limbs and rugged, flaky bark paint a bold picture, but its delicate leaflets provide a satisfying contrast of textures. Espresso’s small leaflets also allow a fair amount of light to pass through the canopy, making it easy for you to grow lawn, wildflowers, or perennials underneath the tree. If you have the room, this underused but distinguished tree is a worthy addition to your landscape.

Growth Facts

The Story

Coffee anyone? The Kentucky Coffee Tree gives off a tropical vibe, though it’s native to the U.S. This majestic tree is found throughout the lower Midwest, but only in isolated patches. It gets its name from the fact that settlers used to roast and grind its seeds to make a coffee substitute. The roasting was an important step, because the seeds are toxic if eaten raw. It’s doubtful that the Coffee Tree drink tasted any good, because once the settlers had access to the real thing, they never made it again. The Espresso™ Coffee Tree was selected at J. Frank Schmidt Nursery in Boring, Oregon. It’s a male variety, so it doesn’t produce seeds (or messy seedpods) at all.

The Details

The Espresso™ Coffee Tree is one of the last trees to leaf out in the spring, so be patient! When the foliage does emerge, it’s a bright pink color, maturing to a cool blue-green. In fall, the leaflets turn a wonderful radiant yellow, while the leaf stems take on hot pink tones.

How to Grow

Looking for an easy-to-please shade tree? The Espresso™ Coffee Tree is simple to grow and forgiving of harsh conditions. Give it a site in full sun. Deep, loamy soils on the alkaline side suit it best, but this tree tolerates poor soil. Irrigate with the Bower & Branch Elements™ Watering System to help your tree get off to a strong start. Once established, Espresso™ will be quite drought tolerant. It can also handle extreme heat and humidity, winter lows to -30°F, de-icing salts, and air pollution! Young trees will have very little branching, and no pruning will be needed however, suckers may appear from the roots from time to time and should be pulled out. Coffee Trees have no major pest or disease issues to worry about.


Description & Overview

The Espresso Kentucky Coffeetree is a grafted male selection. Essentially, it’s your typical Kentucky Coffeetree, but there’s no seed pods. A coarse, upright branching habit in youth, this tree shines with age. Great for urban spaces!

Core Characteristics

Suggested Uses:

The Espresso Kentucky Coffeetree is an excellent street tree due to its high tolerance in tough spots. The long leaflets provide dappled shade which is good for turf (or other plantings) below. As it sheds its leaves early and has a coarse texture, Espresso Kentucky Coffeetree is well suited in locations where winter sun is desired, such as near solar panels.

Salable #25 Container trees. Pictures taken late-August.

Amazing leaflets create perfect dappled shade.

Wildlife Value:

When flowering, the Espresso™ Kentucky Coffeetree will attract Bees, Swallowtails, and Hummingbirds. In southwest Wisconsin, you may encounter the larvae of the Bicolored Honeylocust Moth feeding on the tree’s leaves.

Maintenance Tips:

Due to its coarse structure and slow growth rate, you should not need to prune Espresso Kentucky Coffeetree as a youth.

We invite you to check out the Arborist For Hire lookup at the Wisconsin Arborist Association website to find an ISA Certified Arborist near you.

Pests/Problems:

Espresso™ Kentucky Coffeetree has no known serious insect or disease issues. Some minor defoliation from insects is normal (as with most trees), but there are no ‘ornamental’ diseases that afflict this tree.

Leaf Lore:

The straight species of Kentucky Coffeetree produces seed pods with fruit, which are toxic if consumed raw. they can be roasted and brewed into a coffee substitute. However, ‘Espresso’ male selection and will not produce any seed pods.

The bark truly shines in winter. It’s uniquely textured bark is apparent even on young twigs. The cultivar has a more upright vase-shape than its parent plant.

A pure Kentucky Coffeetree (seed pods included) can be viewed at our nursery in Menomonee Falls. If you ever travel to Galena, Illinois, take a walk along the Galena River on west bank, just north of Hwy 20 W, is a beautiful specimen with gorgeous form.

Companion Plants:

Espresso Kentucky Coffeetree is a great plant for tough sites, meaning you should select similarly durable plants as companions. Consider using Gro-Lo Sumac or Little Bluestem at its base.

ESPRESSO&TRADE KENTUCKY COFFEETREE BENCHCARD


Watch the video: PlantTalk: Kentucky Coffee Tree