Kentucky Coffeetree

Gymnocladus dioicus

An average tree for the climate of Keizer, Oregon.


They are very hard and can be ‘shot’ from a lawnmower running over the fruit. Male trees are sometimes available and they do not set fruit, but this is often unreliable. 


This is a medium-growing tree that will reach a height of about 70 feet while spreading 45 to 60 feet. It is adaptable to many soils, including alkaline, has interesting bark and grows with an open canopy allowing light to penetrate to the ground for adequate turf growth beneath the canopy. The coarse branch texture in the winter is also quite unique, forming an interesting silhouette of only several large branches. Large seed pods hang on the tree in the winter but can be a litter problem when they fall in the spring. The seeds (in a 5 to 10- inch-long pod) and leaves may be poisonous to humans. The pod contains seeds which used to be roasted as a coffee substitute. The leaves are bipinnately compound and can be up to 18 inches long, resembling walnut.

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