We are thinking of having the City plant a Yellow-wood. We face west, get a lot of sun and already have a skinny Service Berry and weeping Japanese Maple on the lawn. Our lot is 42.5 ft wide. We would like some shade. Would this be a good tree and where should we plant it?
Not used as much as it should be, the Yellowwood ( Cladrastis kentukea) is a medium- to fast- growing, deciduous tree that typically grows 30-50′ tall and features a broad, rounded crown as wide as your entire lot (40-50 feet). If you are prepared to have a tree this large, then it is a delightful choice that will enjoy the sunny yard.
The tree may not flower for the first 8-10 years, but once the bloom begins, it can be spectacular. Intensely fragrant, wisteria-like, white flowers in large, drooping, terminal panicles (10-15″ long) will virtually cover a mature tree in late spring.
Your Japanese Maple may appreciate the dappled shade near the edge of the taller tree’s canopy, while the Serviceberry requires more sun. Keep these facts in mind when determining where to position your new tree.
Before making your final decision, you might like to review Cornell University’s Recommended Urban Trees: site assessment and tree selection for stress tolerance also has helpful information about various other options for your new tree (including height/width and management issues that may arise.)