Kentucky Coffee Tree - 'Espresso'

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by selvan777, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. selvan777

    selvan777 Member

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    Does anyone know where I can buy one about 4 to 6 foot tall?

    I've tried all local nurseries with no luck. Google finds a few willing to ship but none can assure me it's an Espresso. I did find them at jfschmidt.com but they are a wholesaler with a minimum $2500 purchase to ship making finding a local nursery that will order one all the more difficult.

    In May of '07 I had to drive an hour to buy one but now that nursery in Yuba City no longer carries them and will not order one.

    I love this tree and would really like another.

    Thanks

    Selvan
    Zone:8-9
    Folsom, CA. 95630
     
  2. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Does your area have the equivilent of a nurseryguide.com like Oregon has? It is geared to wholesale, but homeowners could use it to pin-point where the plant is stored.

    Seems that a state like California might have it's own version
     
  3. selvan777

    selvan777 Member

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    That's so convenient, I only wish CA had the same. Googling has been my only means.

    If you hear or come across one, please let me know here.

    You can't really see it in the pic with my 2 y/o boy below but a 6 inch section of the trunk just above the tree strap has already turned dark brown.

    P8210065.jpg
     
  4. treelover3

    treelover3 Active Member

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    I know this is an old thread, but have you recently searched for an 'Espresso' coffeetree? Here in MN, many local nurseries are now carrying the coffeetree cultivar 'Espresso'.
     
  5. selvan777

    selvan777 Member

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    Hey, thanks for the reply! I did find a nursery again about an hours drive but in a different direction. Nonetheless, he was planted 1Q2010 and he too is thriving, thanks again. A little history, I learned of this tree via a free tree planting program run by my local electricity co. I got one from them, planted it, then learned about the toxic beans. Upon inquiring, their grower could not, would not, guarantee it's a male so I uprooted it and gave it away. Hence, my drive to find the Espresso.
     
  6. treelover3

    treelover3 Active Member

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    I just purchased a coffeetree, but it's of unknown sex. I am hoping for a male tree, but I'll be happy with whatever sex the tree turns out to be (I don't have any kids). I have a book at home that gives the address of the original 'Espresso' (male) coffeetree in California. I don't recall what the address is right now, but can let you know if you're interested, once I get home from work?

    I just purchased my coffeetree last Sunday and have not yet planted the tree. The utilities are coming out today to mark the yard so I don't hit anything while digging. I had a kidney and pancreas transplant a year ago this Sunday, 4-22-12, and I'm going to plant the tree on the 1-year anniversary of the transplant.

    I'm so glad you were able to find the 'Espresso' cultivar of the tree!

    Is the photo in this thread a pic of the tree that you ended up removing or of the 'Espresso' tree you purchased?

    I may try to return my tree and get an 'Espresso' instead, but I've not decided yet whether I will try to do that?
    All the best...
    Mike
     
  7. selvan777

    selvan777 Member

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    Congrats on the successful surgery, I wish you all the best!

    The tree in the pic is the one I purchased, he was planted in 2007. In deciding, do also consider the considerable amount of mess the females leave... hard-shelled beans in heavy, woody, thick-walled pods, although the females are much more stately.

    Does anyone know about how old she is before beans are produced? I'm so anxious to be reassured mine are males.
     
  8. selvan777

    selvan777 Member

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    Does no one know?
     
  9. treelover3

    treelover3 Active Member

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    I haven't had a chance to get back to this thread...

    You know, I don't know and I've never asked how old the trees need to be before they bloom?

    I've got some gardening friends and I'm sure one of them will know. Let me ask and I'll post the answer as soon as I find out.

    I'm interested, too, so I can figure out how long it will be before my tree will bloom. I do know that the flower racemes are 3 - 4 inches long on male trees and 8 to 12 inches long on female trees. Once your tree blooms it will be easy to tell the sex of the tree.
     
  10. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    3-4 years to first blooming, and if you're growing it as a crop, 5-7 years until it becomes productive.
     
  11. treelover3

    treelover3 Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply, but I think you're referring to actual coffee plants, Coffea arabica, rather than Kentucky coffee tree (KCT), Gymnocladus dioicus.

    KCTs are not grown as a crop but rather as a large ornamental shade tree for the home landscape.

    Coffea arabica is a tropical plant whereas Gymnocladus dioicus (KCT) is a temperate tree that is hardy to at least -30ºF and possibly -35ºF.
     
  12. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    See, this is why I'm always going to prefer the Latin names.
     
  13. selvan777

    selvan777 Member

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    I do recall that bit of info and should be content with it as a gauge. The blooms on the one in my backyard, which was planted in 2007, are 4 inches or less, so he must be a "He". Unlike the one in front, it was planted in 2010 and has yet to bloom.

    Treelover3, any chance you were able to locate that address to the Gymnocladus dioicus in Ca?
     
  14. treelover3

    treelover3 Active Member

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    Yes, sorry, I must be suffering from halfzheimer's (not quite Alzheimer's) since i can't remember sh*t (also known as CRS).

    The address is 2011 Regis Drive, Davis, CA. The book says this tree was selected as one of the best of an entire street of trees that was planted in the 1960's.

    The tree was introduced in 1993 by Schmidt Nursery of Boring, OR.
    tl³
     
  15. treelover3

    treelover3 Active Member

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    Also, if your tree bloomed and did not set any pods, that's a pretty good indicator that the tree is male. If the tree was female, you would have had pods form on the tree after the tree bloomed.

    There is a female tree a couple of blocks from me and I know of no male trees anywhere close to here. The closest male trees I know of are at the MN Landscape Arboretum which is a 45 minute drive directly west of here. The female tree near me was loaded with pods this spring.

    On a side note, I purchased some seeds of Gymnocladus chinensis this spring and have a few seedlings started. G. chinensis is the Asian counterpart to G. dioicus. If you search Google you'll find pics of the tree and leaves and the tree is beautiful and has much finer, more refined leaves than the US version.

    I'm going to keep one of the seedling trees in my cold basement over winter and the other I'm going to plant in the ground and hope to grow the tree as a die-back tree/shrub. I've seen a couple of sites that list G. chinensis as a USDA zone 4 tree, but the vast majority of sites say the tree is a USDA zone 8 tree (I'm in USDA zone 4).

    Also, I forgot to ask you how many years it took for your tree to bloom once the tree was planted? (the tree that was planted in 2007)
    Thanks,
    tl³
     
  16. selvan777

    selvan777 Member

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    Thanks, I'm anxious to go see this mature tree now, it's just 38 miles from me!

    Went on a hunt for a couple at Sac State but was not successful: http://www.csus.edu/indiv/g/graeningg/csus_bioinventory/arboretum_plant_index.pdf

    The tiny greenish/white flowers located at the ends of just the lower branches have already dried and fallen off leaving just the short stem. I do believe I started noticing them no sooner than Spring of 2010 for the tree planted in 2007. At time of planting, it was probably about 7' tall.

    Thanks for sharing the info on the females, much appreciated! I must say, though, that I'm surprised your neighbors produced fruit being that the closest male is so far away, I guess 45 mins is nothing for insects to travel daily. Nonetheless, she must be one stately tree on your street. My male, planted just 2 years ago in front, sure turns lots of heads with many comments as is...LOL

    Best of luck with the Chinese variety, sure hope it catches on and flourishes for you, and us all.

    Selvan
     
  17. treelover3

    treelover3 Active Member

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    Selvan,
    The female tree isn't on my street, but is about 3 blocks away. She's a fairly young tree and not very large at all. I've never seen anyone out in the yard when I've driven by or I would stop to talk to them about the tree.
    I'm sure there are male trees around here, but I just don't know about them.

    I hear you RE the comments. When I purchased my tree I was wheeling the tree to the checkout and a woman walked by and said "beautiful tree". I could tell she was being sarcastic and I laughed and told her that at this age, the trees are a little (a lot) gangly, but as the trees mature they develop into beautiful trees. The sparseness of the young KCTs makes them a hard-sell at the nursery since they don't look like much compared to the other nicely branched young trees sitting right next to them at the nursery. KCT would be much more widely planted if the trees had better branching as young trees.

    You'll have to let me know what the original 'Espresso' KCT looks like. The tree is roughly 50 years old now so should be quite impressive. There should be a nice mix of male and female trees on the block since I'm sure all of the trees that were planted were grown from seed.

    Thanks for the link to the PDF. It's too bad you were not able to find the Chinese KCT. I did a Google search to find out what zone Sacramento State University is in and found a link to the new 2012 USDA hardiness zone map (the university is now in 9b rather than the old designation of 9a). I entered my zip code into the map and I'm now considered USDA zone 5a - Woohoo!

    I want to try growing Maclura pomifera 'Whiteshield' (Maclura, like Gymnocladus, is dioecious and 'Whiteshield' is a male tree) and everything I have read has said the tree would not be hardy here in Minnesota in zone 4a (my zone changed one entire zone warmer). It's a fascinating tree with a long history. The Native Americans preferred the wood of Maclura to make bows, over the wood of all other trees. The wood is incredibly strong and durable and VERY rot-resistant. I know a guy in IL that has posts made from Maclura wood that have been in the ground for 60 years and the posts are still solid. One page I read, said jokingly, that if you put a rock on a Maclura post, the stone will rot before the post will rot. LOL. Anyway, I'm getting way off track.

    The KCT I purchased is about 8.5' tall so I'm hoping the tree will bloom sooner rather than later, so if it turns out to be female, I can get an 'Espresso' KCT as a replacement for the yard.
    Mike
    tl³
     
  18. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Rising Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    It is apparently possible for a coffeetree to be neither male nor female.
    Google Street View can be used to get a preview of the tree. Pan and rotate: 2011 Regis Drive, Davis, CA
     
  19. treelover3

    treelover3 Active Member

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    JK,
    Wow, thanks for the Google Street view!

    I had used Google Maps to find the address but only saw the aerial view of the property when I looked.

    'Espresso' is a nice looking tree! I should have just purchased this tree to ensure I got a male tree. Oh well, I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed.

    Most plants that are dioecious can also be polygamo-dioecious, but I've heard it's not common for KCT to have both sexes on the same tree, or at least not as common as it is for other dioecious plants.
    Thanks again,
    Mike
    tl³
     
  20. treelover3

    treelover3 Active Member

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    BTW, here is a link to the new 2012 USDA hardiness zone map.
    Just plug your zip code into the text box on the map and the map will tell you your specific USDA hardiness zone.

    http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

    tl³
     
  21. selvan777

    selvan777 Member

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    Wow, what information!!! Thanks a bunch. I see I'm now considered zone 9b. When I do make it out that way, I will be sure to bring the camera and share the pics from Davis. Well, at least it's easily corrected if you did end up with a female KCT.

    Selvan
     
  22. treelover3

    treelover3 Active Member

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    Selvan,
    Would you be willing to take another photo of your tree once the leaves are out completely and post the photo so I can see how much larger the tree is today compared to the photo from 2009, above?
    I think it would be an interesting comparison.
    Thanks in advance.
    Mike
    tl³
     
  23. selvan777

    selvan777 Member

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    You bet, Mike! On a good note, the female is much more robust.
     
  24. treelover3

    treelover3 Active Member

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    Thanks!
    I've been checking my tree every day to see if there might *possibly* be any flowers this year and it looks like I'm going to have to wait. If the tree is female, I would really like to get a male tree into the ground so I don't waste a year.
    Oh well, I guess I will have to wait...

    I have not read that about the female KCT. That's interesting!
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  25. selvan777

    selvan777 Member

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    Keep looking cause they are so inconspicuous. So much so that I noticed more shorties today that haven't even bloomed yet. They are all at the very end of the lower branches, though.

    I've been Googling around and, wouldn't you know it, now I can't find any site that speak of the females being more stately...err

    Mike, you never know, you may just have a male. Honestly, I got my first KCT from my utility co's program where shade trees were being given away. After planting it, I did more research and learned of the differences but could not get their grower to guaranty mine was a male. Hence, I gave it back to the grower and bought the one pictured above.
     

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