How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Coffee tree, Kentucky coffee tree—Gymnocladus dioica
Family Fabaceae (Pea family)

Plant Identification

Coffee tree is a deciduous tree that grows quickly when young but slows down after it reaches 8 to 10 feet.  Trees can grow up to 100 feet tall and 50 feet wide.  Leaves are long and divided into many bluish-green leaflets.  In fall, leaves turn yellow.  Creamy or whitish flowers are produced in the spring.  Female trees produce brown pods with black seeds that last throughout the winter.  Settlers used to roast the seeds as a coffee substitute.

Optimum conditions for growth

Because of their size, coffee trees need a lot of growing room.  They do very well in areas with full sun and regular amounts of water and require little pruning.  Trees prefer rich soil but can tolerate poor soil.   They can survive in areas that are very hot or very cold.

blossoms of coffee tree

leaves and blossoms of coffee tree
Leaves and blossoms

Pests and disorders of Gymnocladus dioica


Environmental disorders



Coffee tree
Coffee tree, Gymnocladus dioica

bark of coffee tree

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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