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The Golden Rain Tree. (Koelreuteria paniculata) A good looking small to medium-sized shade/ornamental tree. It will grow about 30-40 tall and wide. It is considered an invasive tree species in places where there is lots of rain and moisture. It produces lots of seed pods that are spread out during the fall season thus it’s invasive nature.
This is not a problem in the Southwest desert region due to the small amounts of rain we get during the growing season.
When does it bloom?
The blooms start in early June and last till late July and they are a nice medium to dark yellow in color. It is a fast-growing tree and in the right conditions will shoot out 2 ft. in a years time.
The Golden rain tree will produce yellow pale pods that will eventually turn a dark brown color. See photos below.
The brown seeds pods will eventually fall and produce new Golden Rain Tree seedlings.
What kind of soil does it like?
It will do well with any type of soil from sandy to caliche. Although it will do and look better if it is planted in good loamy organic soil. It can tolerate urban pollution and is a moderate watering tree once established.
Where to plant the Golden Rain Tree?
Makes sure to give it plenty of room to grow. Plant if in full sun but partial shade will work but needs at least 5 hrs. of full sun. It will not grow as large as other shade trees but needs to be planted at least 15 ft. away from walls or fences, 20 ft is better. The root system is not overly invasive. It is a good shade tree for the desert Southwest and will lose it leaves during wintertime. At maturity, it will have a nice sphere-like shape.
Fertilize with a good tree /shrub fertilizer. A 16-8-8 analysis will work great. Do this about once per month during the first 1-3 years after initial planting. They will bloom in early June up until early August.
The Golden rain tree is considered an invasive tree as it will sprout new shoots when the seeds fall on the ground. However, in and around the southwest this is rare due to the small amounts of rainfall throughout the Southwest region.
It is considered a good shade tree for the southwest.
Did you know you can eat the tender shoots and leaves (boiled) of this tree? Read more about this at “Eat the Weeds” website.
Paul Guzman – Husband, Father, Grandfather, Gardener, and Webmaster of GuzmansGreenhouse.com