Laburnum

While laburnum trees are much prized and are grown in many gardens for their beautiful yellow flowers, it should be noted that they are poisonous. Children should be warned not to touch or eat any part of the tree, which could give them severe stomach upset. That said, as long as you are aware of this, they can make an amazing addition to any garden.

Growing laburnum:

Laburnum trees are notoriously short lived but the good news is that they grow extremely easily and fairly quickly from seed. You can choose to plant from seed, in which case the best time to sow those seeds is between September and November. If you are impatient, you could also choose to plant a tree from a garden centre or plant nursery, which will grow to maturity far more quickly. If you are planting a sapling or young tree then these are best planted into their final growing position between October and March.

Laburnums are not at all fussy when it comes to soil type. Varieties of laburnum can grow in light and well-drained soil or in a heavier clay. They can come with a range of soil pH, from alkaline to fairly acidic. Most laburnums are hardy throughout the winter in almost all sections of the UK. The only thing that you must be sure your laburnum receives is plenty of sunlight. Laburnums are sun-loving and will do best when planted in a site with full sun. The more sun the laburnum gets the better it will do and the greater display of flowers will be created.

If a laburnum is planted in full sun, it will not require much attention once it is established, although as with any young tree, you will have to treat it gently and try to water in periods of drought while it is becoming established. Laburnums are perfect for a low-maintenance, wildlife-friendly garden.

Laburnums do not live long but they are very good at regenerating as they produce copious amounts of seeds each year. Again, remember that the seed pods and the rest of the tree are poisonous so care should be taken with young children and pets.

Why grow laburnum in the garden?

Bright yellow blooms on laburnum trees create a beautiful and splendid sight in any garden. Blossom appears in May or June, depending on the variety. Pollinating insects are drawn to these blooms which benefits other plants and crops in your garden.

In a more formal or manicured garden, laburnum trees can be trained into pleached arbours or walks or made into arches or tunnels to create stunning, dramatic garden displays.

As a legume, Laburnum is a nitrogen fixer. Along with the beneficial bacteria living on its roots, it can take nitrogen from the air and transfer it to the soil in your garden, which may benefit other plants growing nearby, making them a good choice for a productive forest garden.

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Laburnum alpinum/ Laburnum anagyroides/ Laburnum x watereri vossii