Scarification: file or sand through the outer seed coat, or Soak in sulfuric or nitric acid for 25 minutes and wash under cold water for 10-15 minutes.
Stratification: none required
Germination: sow 1" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed
The Kentucky Coffeetree is an eye-catching tree that grows to heights of 60-70 feet with a spread of 40-50 feet. It is generally grown in parks and along city streets for ornamental purposes due to its unique appearance, with branches that are totally devoid of fine spray. This tree is a moderately fast grower and is long-lived, with healthy trees surviving from 100 to 150 years. The wood from the Kentucky Coffeetree is used by cabinetmakers and carpenters and the seed, though toxic when unroasted, can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute. The tree is dioecious, with flowers that are white and dioecious, and its large bipinnate leaves emerge later in spring than those of most other deciduous trees. The Kentucky Coffeetree is easy to grow from seed and forms large clonal colonies, making it ideal for urban shading where winter sunlight is to be maximized. However, caution should be used in trying the roasted seeds as a coffee substitute as they are poisonous in large quantities.