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True Root Nursery

Kentucky Coffeetree Seedling

Kentucky Coffeetree Seedling

Species: Gymnocladus dioicus

History: Kentucky Coffeetrees are native to the southernmost parts of Ontario and the midwestern United States. Despite its fairly large range, it is relatively rare today likely due to evolutionary anachronism. It is believed Kentucky Coffeetrees co-evolved with megafauna that are now extinct, so previously beneficial traits like the thick leathery pod around its seeds now hinder seed dispersal. Indigenous peoples have used the tree as a source of food by roasting the seeds and making a coffee-like drink, and the seeds have also been used as pieces in games and to make jewellery. Nowadays, the tree is planted ornamentally in urban areas.

Why We Grow It: This nitrogen-fixing, Carolinian tree produces seeds that may be roasted and used as a coffee substitute, but be aware the raw seeds are toxic! This tree boasts the largest leaves of any native tree, and it's considered a threatened species. 

    Fruit Specs

    Recommended Use: Fixing nitrogen, coffee substitute

    Fruit Size:

    Storage: Seeds store well in the fridge

    Harvest: September - Late

    Growing Specs

    Canadian Hardiness Zone: 3

    Soil Preference: Prefers rich loam but is adaptable to different soils

    Flowering Time:

    Bloom Colour:

    Pollination Requirements: Self-pollinating

    Sun/Shade Requirements:

    Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)

    General Growth Habits:

    Tree reaches 18-21m tall. Generally free of disease and insect issues. Seeds are ripe anytime after the pods turn tan, pods will drop naturally in late winter and early spring.

    Shipping vs. Pick Up

    CLICK HERE to see how shipping compares to pick up.

    Shipping: Every year we ship thousands of trees across Canada (except BC due to CFIA regulations). We carefully bag roots in damp sawdust, then box them and send them out via courrier. CLICK HERE to see our shipping policy.

    Pick-up: We also have thousands of trees picked up from our nursery each year. The pick-up options is free, though you must wait until you have been emailed a confirmation that your order is ready to pick up, which will have further information such as hours, locations, etc. We really appreciate if you can make an appointment to pick up, then we can be as organized as possible during our busy season.

    Size at Purchase

    Our ungrafted fruit tree seedlings, nut tree seedlings, berries, and other miscellaneous plants are categorized into the following sizes excluding the roots:

    • 5-15cm
    • 15cm+
    • 30cm+
    • 60cm+
    • 90cm+

    All of these heights exclude the roots since seedlings and some berries will often have a lot of root growth but relatively little vegetative growth (ex. our Shagbark Hickories seedlings are often 5-15cm above the soil but will have roots that reach 20cm+ in length).

    Not all of our berries and seedlings will be available in all of these grades since growth rate can vary significantly across species and even varieties. While we remain competitive in our plant size, it's also worth noting we don't use synthetic chemicals to push vegetative growth, therefore you may find conventional nursery stock larger in some instances comparatively. 

    Why plant small? It's best to transplant when a plant is young so it can establish its roots before it has a lot of vegetative growth. This is much less stressful on it and bareroot plants tend to catch up and even surpass larger potted ones planted at the same time, after a few years.

    Orders that are cancelled last minute due to size (being "too small"), will still incur the applicable cancellation fees if the plants are true to our grading standards as per the agreement of sale when the order was placed.

    Regular price $8.00 CAD
    Regular price Sale price $8.00 CAD
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