The Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) has chosen the Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus) as its Urban Tree of the Year. The tree was selected for its ability to adapt to a variety of harsh urban conditions and its strong ornamental traits.
According to Ithaca, N.Y.-based Cornell Urban Horticulture Institute director Nina Bassuk, the tree “is easy to transplant and takes off fast. KCT has no problem with alkaline soils. Did I mention the wonderful yellow fall color?”
Eric Berg, community forestry coordinator for the Kansas Forest Service, says the tree is one of his long-time favorites. “It has no serious insect or disease problems, holds up well under severe weather conditions, and it typically requires little corrective pruning for most landscape purposes,” he said.