Cladrastis kentukea

Other Common Names:
American yellowwood, yellow ash, yellow locust

Under Power Lines:
No—this tree is not approved for planting under power lines.

Street Tree Planting:
Yes—minimum planting strip width of 5 feet. If planting a street tree, you must be approved for a permit.

Once established, this attractive medium sized tree blooms in late spring, with beautiful white flowers resembling wisteria. Excellent tree for yards and along the street. The tree's yellowwood name comes from its yellow heart wood.

Mature Height:
40 feet

Mature Spread:
40 feet

Compound pale green leaves turning yellow to golden brown in fall.

The tree usually doesn't flower during establishment, however once it starts the blooms are beautiful. The creamy white and fragrant flowers resemble wisteria.

Seed pods persist into winter, dangling from twig tips.

Cultural Notes:
Grows best in full sun in medium to well-drained soil. Best to prune in summer because winter cuts tend to bleed.

Potential Problems:
No serious pest or disease problems.

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