wishlist bag search search account phone mail facebook plus minus arrow-right close-button

Bare Root American Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea)

Item #:
Ships March 2024
Item #:
Ships March 2024
Trees & Shrubs


Hardy, deciduous, Eastern North American tree
Description:  Pendulous clusters of fragrant, white flowers appear in late spring, resembling Wisteria; bright green, pinnately compound foliage and smooth gray bark; foliage turns a mix of soft yellow, gold, and orange; takes around 10 years to reach flowering age
Habit:  Medium-sized tree to 50 ft high and wide
Culture:  Prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soil
Hardiness:  USDA Zones 4 through 8
Origin:  Southeastern United States
Attributes:  Fragrant flowers; Fall color

Cladrastis kentukea is native to the southeastern United States, but is not widespread. Its common name, Yellowwood, describes the color of the wood when the tree is freshly cut. First noted in the wild by botanist and plant explorer André Michaux in 1796, this species was named by his son François Michaux in 1813 as Virgilia lutea. In 1822, botanist and polymath Constantine S. Rafinesque renamed the species Cladrastis and sent seeds to Thomas Jefferson. Writing from Monticello that same year, Jefferson thanked Rafinesque for the seeds, stating “too old to plant trees for my own gratification, I shall do it for my posterity…"

This plant will ship bare root.  Approximately 18” tall.

Bare root planting tips:

If you can't plant immediately, store your plant in a cool location and keep the roots moist or pot in a container with a nursery potting mix from your local garden center.
~ Before planting, let the roots soak for several hours as you prepare the site. You'll want to dig a large enough hole so the root mass can spread out and the plant is at the same soil level as when it was growing in the nursery.
~ Once planted, water it in well and wait a month before fertilizing. Mulching will help to maintain moisture and raise soil temperatures for faster growth.

Your Purchase

Supports Monticello

Learn More

Keep In Touch

News, exclusive sale previews, and special events!