Yellow wood (Cladrastis lutea)
Quick facts and care essentials
• Climate zones 1-9, 14-16, 31-43
• Full sun
• Moderate water
• Growth rate moderate
Reaching 30 to 50 feet high, 40 to 55 feet wide, yellow wood has a broad, rounded crown and large leaves (8 to 12 inches long), each divided into seven to 11 oval leaflets. Foliage is yellowish green in spring, bright green by summer, brilliant yellow in fall. In late spring to early summer, branches are decorated with spectacular clusters of fragrant white flowers that look like wisteria blossoms (trees may not bloom until their tenth year). Mature trees have handsome smooth gray bark; the common name refers to the color of freshly cut heartwood.
Yellow wood is deep rooted, so you can grow other plants beneath it. Give young trees regular water; established trees withstand some drought.