By Jennifer Poindexter
Ornamental trees are a wonderful way to add color, beauty, and shade around your home. Understanding which trees are the best option for your yard and how to grow them is vital information to have prior to planting.
One tree you might be interested in adding to your landscape is the golden rain tree. This is a vibrant tree due to its production of yellow blooms.
If this sounds like a tree you might be interested in, ensure you know how to grow it prior to planting. I’m going to walk you through the growing conditions, planting process, and proper care techniques for a golden rain tree.
Here’s what you should know prior to adding the golden rain tree to your yard or garden area:
Growing Conditions for the Golden Rain Tree
The golden rain tree is an ornamental option that reaches heights ranging from 25 to 40 feet and produces bright yellow flowers in mid-summer.
From there, the blooms give way to lime green pods which then turn brown over the fall. As if appearance isn’t enough reason to grow this plant, it also helps that it’s flexible about its growing conditions and is drought tolerant.
Golden rain trees should grow in full or partial sunlight. They also prefer evenly damp, nutrient-dense soil that drains adequately.
However, the tree will also grow in a variety of soil types including clay or sand as long as it’s well-draining.
It can even grow in areas that tend to flood as long as it isn’t left with oversaturated roots for long periods.
You also don’t have to be concerned about the growing location regarding the tree’s roots. Some trees dig up sidewalks and underground piping.
However, the roots of this tree don’t tend to cause issues with items near the growing location.
The final thing to consider, when growing a golden rain tree, is your planting zone. These trees are hardy in planting zones five through nine. In other areas, you may consider growing the tree in a container, so it can be moved around depending upon the temperatures.
If you’re considering growing a golden rain tree, take these specifications into consideration when picking the ideal planting location.
How to Plant the Golden Rain Tree
If you’re interested in growing a golden rain tree, you’ll be pleased to know that there are many ways to go about planting one.
The first method is the most common, which is to purchase a tree from a local nursery. When you get home, pick a planting location which meets the specific growing conditions outlined above.
Then dig a hole deep enough to support the root ball of the tree. Place the tree in the ground and ensure it’s level.
From there, backfill the hole halfway and add approximately two gallons of water to the area. Then finish filling the hole and add another two gallons of water to the tree.
Press your foot firmly around the base of the tree to compact the soil as this will provide extra structure to encourage the tree to grow straight and tall.
Ensure you always transplant the tree during the spring as they’re known for struggling over the winter when transplanted in the fall.
The next method to growing a golden rain tree is from seed. You should allow the seeds to dry over the winter if you’re harvesting them fresh.
Whether purchased or harvested yourself, when the seeds are dry, soak them in water overnight. Then pull them from the water and scrape them with a sharp tool.
When ready, plant the seeds in a growing tray filled with well-draining and nutritious soil. Mist the soil with water and wrap the tray in plastic.
Place the growing tray in an area with temperatures around 75-degrees Fahrenheit and where it’ll receive direct sunlight.
It should take approximately fourteen days for the seeds to germinate. Once the seeds have sprouted, uncover them from the plastic and continue to keep the tray watered and warm.
Over the next few weeks, the seedlings should grow stronger. When ready, transplant them to individual pots. You must care for them in the containers for about three years.
After this point, they should be ready to be transplanted outdoors in their permanent growing location.
Our next method to planting golden rain trees is propagating them from their roots. During the tree’s dormancy period (fall, winter, or early spring) dig up a section of the roots.
You want to find an area where the roots are about a half inch thick. When you find this location, cut pieces away that are around five inches in length.
Use scissors to remove any strands of smaller roots from the cuttings. Then plant the cuttings in a tray filled with well-draining soil.
Place the cuttings horizontally in the soil and leave two inches of space between each root cutting. Put the tray in an area with temperatures around 60-degrees Fahrenheit and where it can receive bright, indirect lighting.
When the top layer of soil is dry, mist it with water. As the cuttings sprout and form a sturdy root system, move the plants to their individual containers where you’ll continue to supply water and warmth until the trees are strong enough to move outdoors to their permanent growing location.
The last method to propagate a golden rain tree is from suckers. Sometimes you’ll see trees sprout suckers at the base of the trunk.
When this occurs, in the late winter or early spring, dig the sucker up. Dig a circle around it and remove the newly forming plant from the ground.
Then place the sucker in a container immediately that’s filled with well-draining soil. Care for this plant as you would any new seedling.
Overtime, when the plant is strong enough to move to its permanent growing location, transplant it outdoors.
These are a few ways you can add the golden rain tree to your landscape. Pick the planting method that best matches what resources are available to you and start this tree on the right foot around your home.
Caring for the Golden Rain Tree
Now that you understand how you can plant the golden rain tree, it’s time to discuss proper care of the plant once it’s in the ground.
The golden rain tree does have a few specific needs that should be provided to ensure adequate health. To begin, it’s important to provide ample water to the golden rain tree while it’s becoming established.
This is best accomplished by watering the plant deeply once it’s being grown outdoors. By supplying more water fewer days of the week, you’re ensuring the roots are saturated at the time of watering.
But you’re also supplying moisture to the ground around the tree. This way, when the tree needs more water, it’s encouraged to dig deeper into the soil. This creates a stronger root system and usually a healthier tree.
Once the tree is established, it should be able to thrive on its own with the exception of periods of drought. During these times, supply water to the tree as needed.
Next, you should fertilize the golden rain tree one time per month during its growing season for the first three years. This should help the tree have what it needs to encourage strong growth.
It’s also important to apply mulch around the base of the tree once transplanted outdoors. This will keep weeds down and also help retain moisture.
Be mindful that you only mulch the area around the tree. Mulch should never climb up the trunk of the tree. This is called volcano mulching and does more harm than good.
Staking a golden rain tree is important in its early stages of growth. These are fast-growing trees and can gain up to two feet per year.
Sometimes a tree needs a little extra support when growing at such a fast rate. Therefore, stake the tree to provide necessary support.
Lastly, be sure to prune the golden rain tree while it’s dormant. This is a great time to remove any damaged or dead portions of the tree.
Be sure to supply adequate care to the golden rain tree to encourage better health and to help the tree thrive under your care.
Garden Pests and Diseases Which Might Impact the Golden Rain Tree
The last things we must discuss when growing a golden rain tree are how to protect it from pests and diseases.
You should also be aware of a few of the negative sides to this tree to make a fully informed decision on whether it’s right for you.
The golden rain tree is known for suffering from both cankers and leaf spot. If cankers develop on your tree, there is no treatment.
However, you can prune away damaged areas to encourage only the healthy portion of the tree to grow.
Should your tree develop leaf spot, it’s best to apply a fungicide. You can also take steps to deter fungal disease by ensuring you plant in well-draining soil and areas with adequate sunlight.
This avoids over-saturated growing conditions and supplies warmth. In turn, creating growing conditions where fungal disease should have a harder time thriving.
Golden rain trees are also known for becoming infested with scales. You may rub the tree with oil to cause these pests to suffocate or treat them with an insecticide.
Lastly, there are a few issues with the golden rain tree that you should be aware of. First, it’s vital to prune this tree.
If not, the structure can become weak which could lead to breakage especially if you live in areas with high winds.
Also, the golden rain tree is known for overseeding in warm locations. Therefore, if you live in a warm climate ensure you know whether it’s considered an invasive species in your area prior to planting.
Finally, the golden rain tree is viewed as a messy tree due to the amount of seeds, leaves, and flowers that it drops throughout the growing season.
Hopefully this information will provide a complete picture of what it could look like when growing this variety of tree. We want to ensure you have all the facts and understand what the potential threats and cons are to growing a golden rain tree.
You now know what it takes to grow a golden rain tree. Ensure you supply adequate growing conditions and select the planting method which best matches your gardening skills and resources.
Finally, be sure to provide the proper care to the golden rain tree and remain alert to potential pests and diseases. By being a mindful gardener, the golden rain tree could be a great addition to your yard or garden area.