My little town has an unusual collection of street trees. On my block alone there are red maples, dogwoods, redbuds, oaks, and two native beauties – Cladrastis kentukea all planted in the hell strips. 1′ to 2′ abundant clusters of fragrant white blooms on two side by side trees made me screech the tires on the way home the other day. This isn’t a common tree around here and it is a stunner in every way. I have to remember to us this beauty in more landscape designs!
Cladrastis kentukea has a loose informal shape suitable to casual settings or as a feature tree in a large landscape. Its native range is further south – hence the name. Yellowwood is hardy from zones 4-8, with brilliant yellow fall foliage. It is a large shade tree that can reach 30-50 feet, likes full sun, and has a long taproot so make sure it’s planted where it can stay.