Kentucky Coffeetree

All About the Kentucky Coffeetree:

Scientific Nomenclature: Gymnocladus dioicus

Common Names: Kentucky coffeetree, American coffee berry, Kentucky mahogany, stump tree

Mature Height: 60–75 feet

Mature Spread: 40–50 feet

Growth Rate: Slow

Attracts Wildlife: Bees, butterflies and birds

Messiness: Large black to red-brown fruit pods resembling bean pods mature and drop in autumn or winter. The tree drops its leaves in autumn.

Shape: Oval/Irregular

Native to Kentucky: Yes

Preferred Soils: Prefers well-drained clay, loam or sand with high organic matter content. It is generally tolerant of all soil types, whether acidic (<6.0pH), neutral (6.0–8.0pH) or alkaline (>8.0pH).

Screening: Not used as a privacy tree.

Drought Tolerance: Is exceptionally tolerant of drought and urban conditions.

Coniferous or Deciduous: Deciduous tree

Pruning: Never or very rarely needs to be pruned. The coffeetree is a slow-growing, relatively short-lived tree.

Climate Quick Facts:

Following being planted as a sapling, over 20 years one Kentucky coffeetree will:

  • Sequester ~224 pounds of CO2.
  • Reduce stormwater runoff by 271 gallons.