Cladrastis - Yellowwood
DESCRIPTION: These deciduous trees, commonly called Yellowwood, are natives of the southeastern U.S. and Japan. They make excellent shade trees, because of their dense heads of foliage, and street trees, since their roots grow deeply enough not to disturb paving. C. lutea is a Yellowwood found in the southeastern U.S. This tree can grow from 30 to 50 feet high. It is clothed with bright green leaves, 8 to 12 inches long, consisting of 7 to 11 leaflets. They turn yellow and orange in the fall. This tree begins to bloom when it is 15 to 18 feet tall. Large, pendant clusters, 12 to 15 inches long, of 1-inch, white flowers are produced in late spring. Every two years, a huge amount of flowers are produced; comparatively few are borne in alternate years. The flowers are followed by flat, brown pods that fall in autumn. The bark of the Yellowwood is smooth and pale gray except on older trees. The heartwood of this tree is bright yellow, giving this tree its common name; this, as well as the bark, was used by early Americans to make yellow dye for cloth. Yellowwoods develop short trunks unless the lower branches are removed while the trees are young.
POTTING: Plant Yellowwoods in a sunny location in deep, light loamy soil that is well drained. It will survive in any soil, even one that has high alkalinity, as long as it is moist and deep enough to accommodate the trees' long roots. After it has been established for a few years, these trees will even survive drought. Trees that are from 6 to 12 feet in height should be planted. Pruning, which consists of removing branches liable to breakage, should be done in the summer. These trees "bleed" severely if pruned in the spring or winter.
PROPAGATION: Seeds may be sown in a frame.
VARIETIES: C. lutea; C. platycarpa; C. sinensis; C. Wilsonii.
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