Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus) is a wonderful shade tree for Minnesota. It grows to 60′ with a 40′ spread and is native to the metro — I know, I know…it says Kentucky but it really is natively found from New York to Minnesota.

This is a great tree that should be used more often on commercial properties.

The one hitch is they look goofy when young. The leaves are ENORMOUS and it fills in really well during the growing season, but when they are young, they look like a trunk with 3 sticks in the winter. They are slower growing but do a great job.

They also have a really nice, yellow fall color. They do have seed pods that fall off in fall but are generally not a nuisance.

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You’ll not want to plant anything less than a 3″ balled in burlap tree.