KC Gardens

Yellowwood tree -- how will it work here?


This past weekend I picked up a Yellow wood tree at the Miami County Master Gardener’s plant sale. I know that this spotty bloomer, is native to slightly different climates than KC. I would like to know how this tree should be planted in our area. Would it do well in a understory situation or full sun? Will our clay soils work or is a rich loamy soil best? I think this tree is related to the Red Bud. In that case, can it be planted in similar conditions? Are there any Yellow wood trees planted in any of the parks here in the area where I might observe how it is used? Thanks in advance. - Jo -


  1. 1 year, 6 months ago

    Yellowwood is a nice tree for the area. It would do best with a well drained soil. It would like even moisture so avoid excessive drought periods even once established.

    It would do best with morning sun and afternoon shade. An understory location would be fine but better blooms would be in a little more sun.

    As for a location to see one - I am drawing a blank at this time. We did have one in a demonstration garden but lost it this summer. It did fine until last summer and this one - then if burned. We had forced it into a full sun location which we knew was a risk. It did just fine with milder summers but the high heat of last July and this summer was to much sun.

    Dennis - Johnson County Extension

  2. 1 year, 6 months ago

    On the Champion Trees of Kansas City list, there is an American Yellowwood located at 1008 Valentine Rd, KCMO, E side front. There is a champion Japanese Yellowwood (related but smaller) at Linda Hall Library, SW Corner. You might look there to see if they also have an American Yellowwood.

    Another place to check would be Powell Gardens.

    And I’d like to add that Yellowwood can develop bad branch crotches that can break in ice or wind storms. So keeping the tree properly pruned will keep it looking lovely.

    Carole Johnson County Extension Master Gardener

  3. 1 year, 6 months ago

    Carole - you are so good! Thanks for the additional research on where to find a tree. Dennis

  4. 1 year, 6 months ago

    There are several yellowwood trees at the Overland Park Arboretum. There are three young ones just opposite the wildflower area at the Medicine Wheel and there are some more mature,understory ones, with beautiful trunks, down at the bottom of the walk in the Marder Garden.

    Bob L, JoCo Ext. Master Gardener

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