How to Care for a Weeping Golden Chain Tree


Weeping golden chain trees are cultivars of Laburnum x watereri that take on weeping, pendulous branches as the name suggests, adding a tranquil visual impact to the home garden. With showy, hanging yellow flowers and an open, airy habit, weeping golden chain trees also add vibrant color to your gardening space with low maintenance needs. These deciduous trees reach a height of up to 25 feet and grow best in USDA Hardiness Zones 5b to 7b, according to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension. Choose cultivars such as Pendulum or Alford's Weeping as these cultivars take on a weeping habit that others do not.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Protective clothing
  • Pruning shears
  • Insecticide
  • Fungicide
  • Horticultural oil
  • Grow your weeping golden chain tree in locations that provide full sun exposure for best growth.

  • Cultivate your tree in fertile, moist, well-drained soil high in organic content. Maintain an alkaline pH level as an acid pH results in growth problems. Improve soil drainage if necessary to avoid the excessively wet soil conditions that create problems, such as root rot, for your golden chain tree.

  • Prune your tree just after flowering with the goal of removing weak or dead branches to create a strong tree.

  • Examine your golden chain tree for common pests and insect diseases. Maintain consistent care to avoid these problems.

  • Check your leaves for signs of pest infestations like aphids. Look for yellowing or distorted leaves as well as the presence of a sticky-sweet substance, called honeydew, that aphids excrete while they feed. Identify these sucking bugs as well by the subsequent development of sooty mold, a black fungal growth encouraged by the presence of honeydew.

  • Remove and destroy affected plant parts to control the disease. Apply an appropriate insecticide if the infestation is severe. Use horticultural oil as a low-toxicity insecticide that kills aphids on contact, but realize that may mean a need for reapplication.

  • Examine your plants for signs of common diseases like leaf spot. Look for, as the name suggests, spots on leaves as well as signs of diminished health, such as dying leaves or areas of dying plant tissue on branches. Control this problem as soon as symptoms are apparent by removing and destroying infected plant parts and applying an appropriate fungicide.

Tips & Warnings

  • Contact your local county extension or a licensed professional for assistance in diagnosing problems and selecting appropriate insecticides and treatments.
  • Wear gardening gloves, protective eyewear and protective clothing to prevent injury when handling sharp tools or chemicals.
  • Practice caution when gardening with weeping golden chain trees as all plant parts are poisonous, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension.

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  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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