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Posted on: May 28, 2021

13th Annual Big Tree Contest

Kentucy Coffee Tree

Sponsored by the City of New Ulm Tree Advisory Commission (TAC)

Find the largest Kentucky Coffee tree in the city limits of New Ulm and win up to $200 toward a tree to plant anywhere in the city limits of New Ulm, including in your yard!

Complete the Big Tree Contest form and submit to the New Ulm Civic Center, 1212 North Franklin Street, by Monday, July 19, 2021. Your tree will be measured by members of TAC. Final determination of winning tree will be made by TAC.

Prize:  The entrant who identifies the largest Kentucky Coffee tree in New Ulm city limits will be reimbursed up to $200 to purchase and plant a tree, from the city approved tree list, procured from a city designated local nursery.

IDENTIFICATION: Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioicus)

The Kentucky coffee tree's tolerance to pollution and a wide range of soils makes it a suitable tree for urban environments. Native to the Midwest, this tree bears leathery, reddish-brown seed pods that add winter interest to the Midwestern landscape. Mature Height: 60-75 feet. Mature Width: 40-50 feet. Hardiness Zones: Zone 3 - 8

The bark is dark brown; rough. Becoming scaly with curved edges.

Alternate, bipinnately compound leaves; with numerous leaflets; lowest set of leaflets simple. Leaflets, oval with entire margins and blue green color; mild yellow fall color.

Fruit (seed) and Flowers
5 to 10-inch-long, red-brown, leathery pods containing a few large rounded seeds on female trees. Male trees are seedless.

Northeastern and central United States.


  1. Entrant, if declared the winner, may plant the winner’s prize tree in New Ulm’s city limits.
  2. Contest entry tree must be a Kentucky Coffee tree and located within the city limits of New Ulm.   
  3. Measure the tree circumference with a tape measure at a height of 4 1/2 feet above the ground.  (If there are multiple stems only one stem counts)
  4. Tree can either be located on private or public property. If on private property, the applicant and city staff/commissioner must have permission to enter the property and measure the tree.
  5. If multiple entries are received for the winning tree, owner’s entry takes precedence, followed by other entire as per date and time received.   The last day to enter is Monday, July 19, 2021.
  6. The winner can select the specie of tree to plant, from the City of New Ulm approved species list, to be procured (and planted if desired) from a City designated New Ulm nursery. The New Ulm TAC will reimburse payment for the tree (and planting if desired) up to a maximum of $200.

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