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The Goldenrain Tree: A Tree I Love to Hate

The goldenrain tree can be beautiful in spring and in autumn. This introductory photo was taken in June when the tree was in bloom. By autumn the blossoms have become lantern-like cinnamon colored pods. It is at this time I love the tree most. By the time winter is over, though, I’m not so happy with the tree. These photos will show you why.

Because I think these photos can be voted up and down, I have also numbered each one in the title so that if I mention a photo number to refer to you can find it in the title to see the right photo.

The Goldenrain Tree in Bloom in June (photo 1)

The goldenrain tree is attractive in June when it blooms. Yellow and green look good together, don't you think?

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Seed Pods of the Goldenrain Tree Up Close (Photo 3)

This photo gives you a closer look at the lantern-like seed pods. If you look closely at that open pod, you will see a pair of black seeds inside. Some of the seeds have already fallen out on the ground.  Each pod has several seeds, and you can see that if you peek in through the slits of the slightly open pods. 

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More Goldenrain Tree Seeds I Found While Planting (Photo 6)

I found these today while preparing the ground to plant some herb seeds and spreading bone meal around my irises.. Do you see the one hidden in the Lamb's Ears leaf on the left? Do you see the three on the right near the green blades of grassy weed? There are many more I must have planted while working because I couldn't get them picked up. Everywhere I look there seem to be dozens. This is the reason I don't like the tree. 

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The Goldenrain Tree as it Looks on the Edge of my Yard (photo 2)

When the flowers turn into the cinnamon color seed pods, they still contrast nicely with the bright green leaves. As you can see, already in September some of the pods have begun to fall under the trees. Notice how close those pods are to the oleander bushes in the background.

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Under the Goldenrain Tree (Photo 4)

This is how the ground looks under a goldenrain tree. Do you see the small round black seeds? Do you see all the pods, each of which expels several of these seeds every year between autumn and winter? These seeds are the reason this tree has made Matt Ritter's list of the ten trees most likely to trip you on the sidewalk. (A Californian's Guide to the Trees Among Us, Heydey Press) The seeds are like little ball bearings, and no one wants to step on those.

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Goldenrain Tree Seeds I Found Today (March 3) While Weeding (Photo 5)

These are not directly under the tree, but several yards away from it. I see four here. How many can you find? Looks are deceiving, though. These are just the ones on top. For every one you see, several are under the debris on the ground. 

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A Goldenrain Tree Seedling (Photo 7)

This little child of the goldenrain tree is in the flowerbed bedside my garage. It is across the yard and around the corner of the lawn -- quite far from the mother tree. These seedlings are easy to miss -- especially when they turn up two feet high under a shrub in mid-summer. 

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Goldenrain Tree Seedling Hiding in Jasmine and Rue (Photo 8)

This large goldenrain tree seedling is hiding between the star jasmine plant and the rue (front). Can you spot it? This one is bigger than the other one in Photo 7. That's because it grew while it was hiding. It was harder to get out than the smaller one. 

So although during some seasons the tree is beautiful, in winter and early spring I love to hate it. It turns my yard into a potential forest of its progeny. Sometimes I miss them until they are too large to get out by the roots and they have to be cut out from the middle of the plant they were hiding under while they grew.  This most often turns out to be one of the neighboring oleander bushes, which you can see in Photo 2

Is there a tree you love to hate?

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What do you think?

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    • Have you tried opening the post as an entire post and then reading it all the way down and commenting or responding to comments by going down the entire post at once instead of just right-clicking on the notifications? That works for me, but I’m on a desktop. I’ve never tried it on a phone. Which are you using?

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