Cladrastis kentuckea fall color photo

restorephoto(5 (central Indiana))October 13, 2011

I had been asked to post photos of my Yellowwood's fall color. This was not the year to get good autumn photos. We had severe drought conditions in July and August followed by a soggy September. The tree sits in very well drained soil. When the wild Ginger under the tree began wilting, I knew it was time to do some watering. Still, the leaves are turning from green to yellow-gold to crunchy tan and then dropping in just a couple of days. And the process is uneven. There are still quite a few green leaves even though a significant number of leaves have already fallen.

I've attached two photos, but it's difficult to pick out the Yellowwood. The second photo has an upright oval in the center that roughly outlines the tree. For scale, the shrub in the foreground (red and yellow leaves) is a 10' Syringa oblata that's been there for 50-60 years. The yellow-gold patch above the S. oblata is a Redbud. The color of the Yellowwood leaves at their peak closely match the Redbud fall color.

The White Pine that I mentioned in the other thread can be seen above and to the left of the Yellowwood, and the Hackberry can be seen behind and above the Yellowwood. The orange leaves to the upper right of the Yellowwood belong to a Prunus serotina next door.

Maybe next year I'll get some better photos

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restorephoto(5 (central Indiana))

I should have included this photo, too. The tree was easier to pick out of the clutter when the leaves were still green. The red color above the Yellowwood is the Virginia Creeper in the Hackberry to the north of the Yellowwood.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 10:39PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 11:13PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I have one of these - although I think it was called C. lutea, different plant? - and it is never much to look at in fall. What you describe is what it does every year. It's an awesome shade-maker, though, so its lack of fall show doesn't bother me.

Karin L

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 2:50PM
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restorephoto(5 (central Indiana))

Karin, they are the same tree. Sorry to hear you don't get the nice color that we USUALLY get here. This is probably the worst year we've had for fall color on this tree.

You're right about the shade. And the foliage is very nice during the summer, not to mention the fragrant bloom in the spring�every other year.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 4:57PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

The correct name is now Cladrastis kentukea.

In the midwest this tree is quite consistent for good yellow fall color...but short lived.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 8:27PM
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marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)

I'm not so sure about the short lived part. There is a really beautiful one downtown Indy that looks like it is well over 50 years old. I like that they are popping up more and more as street trees as well.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 4:17PM
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restorephoto(5 (central Indiana))

Here are two more photos from late October 2011, taken 2-3 days apart. Half of the leaves turned earlier in the month and fell. The remaining leaves stayed green until shortly before these photos were taken. A strange year here for fall color.

I used the word "yellow" to describe the Yellowwood color earlier. "Gold" would be more appropriate. As I type this, the color is more pumpkin-like.

As I noted earlier, the tall trees on either side of the Yellowwood are Hackberry. The White Pine belongs to the neighbor. The tree at the left is our Parrotia.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 3:15PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Actually I was more struck by the yellow colour on mine this year. I either have a bad memory, or it's performed better than usual this year :-)

Karin L

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 2:38AM
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Can't speak specifically for whaas, but I think he/she was referring to short-lived color display, not necessarily about the lifespan of the tree.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 9:17AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Right on, the color display is short and drops its leaves fairly early around here (they are hard to find by the way). Typically after Honeylocust, which is the first tree to color up for the most part in this area. They are also very slow growing around here which is why they have limited availability. I have two seedlings, they turned a yellow brown.

The tree could actually be short lived (as in 30-50 years) if it has serious crotch anges issues which the tree is known for.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 9:30AM
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