Can anyone help me identify this leguminous tree growing in hardiness zone 5a (Montreal, Canada)
It produced fruits in late summer/autumn (september/october); numerous hard, dry, dark reddish brown pods containing 2-4 seeds, very similar to the fruit of Erythrophleum Suaveolens. It is also somewhat similar to Balizia peeicellari.
Inside the pod is a greenish membrane with a texture and smell reminiscent of the "honey locust" Gleditsia triacanthos fruit.
The fruits are staying firmly attached on the branch all through winter.
It looks like it is possibly a Kentucky Coffee Tree. I grew up with one of them a block away. They are an unusual plant that is suspected to have been originally spread by Mastadons and such and which are considered rare these days. As I recall, they were notorious among the children I grew up with since the bean pods would explode in fires whenever someone was burning a tree they had cut down and a number of kids collected them just to try throwing them in fires to see what would happen.
Nice one, D.Logan!! I looked up the Kentucky Coffee Tree and that is most definitely it. Gymnocladus dioicus is its scientific name. A very interesting prehistoric tree, like you mention. Its leaves grow late and fall early; great for letting the sun through during the cold parts of the year.
It appears that while Montreal gets much more temperature extremes, it is also in a microclimate not unlike that of Southern Ontario, thus the US Midwest, where this tree is more common.