golden rain tree

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golden rain tree

Post  Just Mike on Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:40 pm

does anyone have any experience with golden rain tree? i have one that has sentimental value, so i feel somewhat obligated to do something with it, but, well...doesnt seem like a very good bonsai candidate...if anything, i will most likely be growing it for a winter sillouhette, but ramification doesnt seem to be a strong point in this species, and the leaves are...ehhhh...maybe defoliation is the trick behind it??...it does have a fairly interesting trunk though due to my moms now deceased dog digging it up and chewing it...dont ask me how this thing survived, but it did, and the dog created a hollow trunk that nature took control of and i later hollowed a bit more...so anyways, im trying to make atleast something decent out of it, but have no experience with this species at all...any suggestions or advice is appreciated...

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Re: golden rain tree

Post  Just Mike on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:48 am

anybody? anything?

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Re: golden rain tree

Post  Todd Ellis on Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:06 am

Hi Mike,
I don't have experience with this species. I did see a landscape specimen this Winter which was approx 30 feet tall, awesome rough bark, covered with mosses and lichens; very pretty tree. I hope someone out there helps you out.
Todd

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Re: golden rain tree

Post  abcd on Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:02 am

Golden rain tree ?
botanic latin name please

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Re: golden rain tree

Post  RKatzin on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:16 am

Koelreuteria paniculata? That is the Golden Rain Tree that grows around here. Listed as an invasive plant by OSU. I've tried twice collecting a clutch of seedlings, but both times they all died in the winter. I was thinking to do a small grove. I think this tree could be done like wisteria, grown for the floral display. I don't know as I decided to let it be to foucus on trees of better potential. Rick

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Re: golden rain tree

Post  Just Mike on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:55 pm

Koelreuteria paniculata is the latin name indeed...it does have wisteria-like flowers...

im not sure this tree is "small grove" material to be honest...so far, i havnt been able to find any info on leaf reduction, and ramification seems to be an issue as well...you cant "pinch" out growth because it grows from the base instead of the tip...i plan on trying defoliation this year since it has had a few years to recover now...i am thinking that may be about the only way to get any kind of decent ramification on this thing...unless of course i just grow it out and turn it into a large size bonsai, which i wont be doing because space is a pressious commodity, and would be better served on better specimens...

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Re: golden rain tree

Post  SamC on Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:43 pm

I've grown a few from seedlings, but our winters are severe enough to have killed most outright and one back to the roots (zone 6b). There are some rather sad looking specimens used as parking lot landscaping here, they seem to suffer some limb die-back each winter, they do bloom and set seed pods but the seeds don't seem very viable.

Meanwhile in a nearby town at a lower elevation in zone 8b they are robust and produce very viable seeds to the point where the landscape planters are filled with seedlings in the spring.

My one remaining specimen had great fall color. I ended up overwintering it in a cool part of our house. I am just hoping that the soil hasn't been too damp as to cause root issues.

As far as styling, mine has a long way to go before I am going to be worrying about styling, but I would probably look online for photos of large old specimens and take their natural growth habit into consideration.

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Re: golden rain tree

Post  Just Mike on Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:29 pm

they are also common parking lot trees in my area...probably because they grow like crazy and arent picky about soil and such...i already have a vision of where i want to go with it, its getting there that is the problem lol...the limb die back you might be talking about arent "limbs" per se if we are talking about the same thing...what happens is the tree send out new shoots in the spring...they grow long and from the base...like over a foot...this isnt a branch though...or atleast the tree doesnt seem to recognize it as one anyway...think of it like 1 giant long leaf...so when fall comes around, the tree sheds the whole thing and it seperates from the base from where it grew...if you cut this shoot during the growing season, it just stops growing basically and sits there until fall at which time it will fall off...this is why i am having a beast of an issue trying to figure out ramification and leaf reduction...last season, i manually seperated these shoots at the base in very early fall so i could do some other work on the tree, and just to see what happened...it did send out a few new shoots that where very tiny, and then stoppd growing because the season was over...this lead me to think maybe defoliation would work, but really, not defoliation in the normal sense of the word...more like how we would treat pines when decandling, excep the candle in this case would actually be the current seasons shoots...does that make sense?

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Re: golden rain tree

Post  Todd Ellis on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:07 pm

Mike, that makes sense. Life in a restricted environment, i.e. bonsai pot, will probably help to reduce foliage size too.

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Re: golden rain tree

Post  SamC on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:55 pm

Just Mike - I do understand they have compound leaves.

But no, the die-back of landscaping trees here is in fact hardwood limbs dying back. Each year there is more deadwood, and the trees look rattier and rattier. I think we are just beyond the cold they can tolerate. Possibly the case of landscapers feeling "there are tough as nails" and bringing them in from a nursery in a milder climate. I expect they might survive perhaps a decade until they are fully gone. I guess time will tell if we will have milder winters and they will start holding their own.

One summer, one of my seedlings went un-watered and dropped it leaves it did eventually put out more leaves that showed some reduction. I was pretty sure I had lost it and it took a lot of care afterwards to help it pull through.

If your tree is large enough, could you defoliate a section by cutting through some petioles (rather than pulling them off and perhaps damaging secondary buds)? If there are secondary buds they should produce more compound leaves (in general terms, think of the maple defoliation technique). Compare untouched growth with the new growth in a defoliated area. It would be a simple way to see if the leaves will reduce, and shouldn't damage the tree overall since you are testing with just one area. Even if you get no new growth from the area, that too is information about what to do, or not do.

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Re: golden rain tree

Post  plant_dr on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:53 pm

They grow just fine down here in Utah and it is a full zone or two colder here than up there, depending on exactly where you are at.

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Re: golden rain tree

Post  Just Mike on Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:12 am

SamC wrote:Just Mike - I do understand they have compound leaves.

But no, the die-back of landscaping trees here is in fact hardwood limbs dying back. Each year there is more deadwood, and the trees look rattier and rattier. I think we are just beyond the cold they can tolerate. Possibly the case of landscapers feeling "there are tough as nails" and bringing them in from a nursery in a milder climate. I expect they might survive perhaps a decade until they are fully gone. I guess time will tell if we will have milder winters and they will start holding their own.

One summer, one of my seedlings went un-watered and dropped it leaves it did eventually put out more leaves that showed some reduction. I was pretty sure I had lost it and it took a lot of care afterwards to help it pull through.

If your tree is large enough, could you defoliate a section by cutting through some petioles (rather than pulling them off and perhaps damaging secondary buds)? If there are secondary buds they should produce more compound leaves (in general terms, think of the maple defoliation technique). Compare untouched growth with the new growth in a defoliated area. It would be a simple way to see if the leaves will reduce, and shouldn't damage the tree overall since you are testing with just one area. Even if you get no new growth from the area, that too is information about what to do, or not do.

any suggestion on the timing? it tends to wake up out of dormancy a bit earlier than my maples...and goes to bed earlier too...it goes through a very very strong spring growth then sloooows waaaaay doooooown...im thinking the start of summer after the spring blast would be the best time...

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