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Care of the plant Cladrastis kentukea or American yellowwood.

Care of the tree Cladrastis kentukea or American yellowwood

The genus Cladrastis, family Fabaceae, includes 8 species of trees native to southeastern North America and eastern Asia. Some species are: Cladrastis kentukea, Cladrastis sinensis, Cladrastis parvifolia.

Common names: American yellowwood, Kentucky yellowwood, Virgilia. This species is native to the Southeastern United States.

They are deciduous trees with a wide crown and low branching that reach 20 meters (65.6 feet) in height. They have large pinnate leaves with pointed, hairy, ovate leaflets of an intense green color that have beautiful orange and yellow tones in autumn. The flowers appear in hanging clusters (30 cm/11.8" long), they are scented and white. They bloom in early summer.

These slow-growing plants are used as a shade tree, as isolated specimens or in small groups. They are not recommended for gardens with a Mediterranean climate.

Cladrastis kentukea can grow in full sun, semi-shade or shaded exposures and protected from strong wind. Resists frost.

The soil must be well drained and contain organic matter that retains moisture. The transplant is done in early spring but only for young specimens.

Water regularly so the soil never dries out completely; never flood. Well established adult trees endure a few days of drought.

Fertilize with compost in late winter.

Prune lightly in late winter to remove dry branches.

They are quite resistant to the usual pests but are sensitive to flooding that can cause fungal diseases.

They propagate by root cuttings in late winter or by seeds sown in the nursery in autumn or spring, previously soaked for 2 days in hot water.

Images of the tree Cladrastis kentukea or American yellowwood

Cladrastis kentukea
Cladrastis kentukea