Espresso™ Kentucky Coffeetree Tree
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Espresso™ Kentucky Coffeetree Tree
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Growth Facts

Espresso™ Kentucky Coffeetree

Gymnocladus dioicus 'Espresso-JFS'
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How large is this tree? View the Size Guide.

We’re excited about this tree, and it’s not just the caffeine talking. Espresso™ Kentucky Coffee Tree is a regal shade tree that projects a commanding presence. It will rise up tall and proud in your landscape, eventually developing a vase-like shape. Its chunky limbs and rugged, flaky bark paint a bold picture, but its delicate leaflets provide a satisfying contrast of textures. Espresso’s small leaflets also allow a fair amount of light to pass through the canopy, making it easy for you to grow lawn, wildflowers, or perennials underneath the tree. If you have the room, this underused but distinguished tree is a worthy addition to your landscape.

Growth Facts

Recommended by Our Growers

The Story

Coffee anyone? The Kentucky Coffee Tree gives off a tropical vibe, though it’s native to the U.S. This majestic tree is found throughout the lower Midwest, but only in isolated patches. It gets its name from the fact that settlers used to roast and grind its seeds to make a coffee substitute. The roasting was an important step, because the seeds are toxic if eaten raw. It’s doubtful that the Coffee Tree drink tasted any good, because once the settlers had access to the real thing, they never made it again. The Espresso™ Coffee Tree was selected at J. Frank Schmidt Nursery in Boring, Oregon. It’s a male variety, so it doesn’t produce seeds (or messy seedpods) at all.

The Details

The Espresso™ Coffee Tree is one of the last trees to leaf out in the spring, so be patient! When the foliage does emerge, it’s a bright pink color, maturing to a cool blue-green. In fall, the leaflets turn a wonderful radiant yellow, while the leaf stems take on hot pink tones.

How to Grow

Looking for an easy-to-please shade tree? The Espresso™ Coffee Tree is simple to grow and forgiving of harsh conditions. Give it a site in full sun. Deep, loamy soils on the alkaline side suit it best, but this tree tolerates poor soil. Irrigate with the Bower & Branch Elements™ Watering System to help your tree get off to a strong start. Once established, Espresso™ will be quite drought tolerant. It can also handle extreme heat and humidity, winter lows to -30°F, de-icing salts, and air pollution! Young trees will have very little branching, and no pruning will be needed; however, suckers may appear from the roots from time to time and should be pulled out. Coffee Trees have no major pest or disease issues to worry about.

Size Guide

Size Guide Scale


Size: B

Size B

This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.

Size B Trees:

8-10' Tall. Grown in our #15 tree container. This is a very unique tree for your landscape.

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Espresso™ Kentucky Coffeetree Tree