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Golden Chain Tree
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The Golden Chain Tree (Laburnum X Watereri) at Pine Hollow

   One of my favorite trees at the Pine Hollow Arboretum is the Golden Chain tree. The reason I love this tree is because when it is in bloom, its blossoms are long clusters of bright yellow flowers that cascade downwards like Chinese lanterns bursting with light. They are magnificent to see and fragrant as well. There are four of them at the arboretum and they can be found in the area near the waterfall.
   The Golden Chain tree originated in Europe. The Latin name is Laburnum x Watereri ‘Vossii’. It is an ornamental tree and a member of the pea family. This tree enjoys almost any soil type as long as it is well drained and in full sun or partial shade. At its maturity it will stand 15 – 20 feet in height and produce flower clusters 8 inches long which makes it particularly well suited for bordering garden paths and walkways. It is a favorite flowering tree of English country gardens. While there are a couple different varieties, the ones at the arboretum bloom in the spring. The foliage is trifoliate, somewhat like a clover, and light green in color and can be susceptible to “sunburn” during hot summer days. It has been reported that this tree is sensitive to fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Ironically, they themselves are highly toxic to people or pets if the foliage is ingested in a sizeable quantities. The seeds germinate easily and it can also be propagated by layering or grafting. The Golden Chain tree attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is deer resistant.

— Sue Abbuhl