Leaf Characteristics
  • broad, flat leaves
  • compound leaves
  • pinnately compound
  • margins smooth
  • singly compound
  • leaflet not tapered to v-shaped point at both ends
  • tip of leaflet abruptly pointed, not tapered
  • leaflets 3 - 4 inches long
Fruit Characteristics
  • in a pod or capsule
  • in a flat pod
  • pod has straight edges
  • pod light, 1/4 inch seeds
  • pod tapers to a point, seeds round
Cladrastis lutea

This medium-size tree has a short trunk and a rounded crown of spreading branches. A champion tree in Hamilton County, Ohio measured 72 feet tall in 1987 and it had a crown spread of 73 feet. The bark of this tree is smooth and gray, and it resembles that of the Beech tree. The Yellowwood grows in the rich moist soils of hardwood forests, especially along stream banks, limestone cliffs, and valleys. This uncommon to rare tree grows naturally in the middle part of the eastern United States. It is found in a broken band from western North Carolina and northern Georgia westward to parts of Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. It generally grows between 300 and 3500 feet in elevation above sea level. It is successful beyond its natural range as an introduced tree, and many people consider it to be very attractive. In Ohio landscapers have planted it as a shade tree and as an ornamental. Dye makers have used its bright yellow heartwood to make an effective dye.

Tree Size Flower Bark