The Q&A Archives: Brooklyn Tree?

Question: There's a popular bush that has yellow flowers. You see this bush in many, many gardens, I don't know
the formal name. I seem to remember as a child visiting the Botanical gardens that they said the common name was the "brooklyn tree". Did you know what tree or bush this is? I have a bet with my wife on this, she thinks I'm nuts.

Answer: A very commonly seen shrub with bright yellow flowers in early spring is of course the forsythia.

But in the story book called "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" the tree is (as I remember being told long ago in a horticulture class) Ailanthus altissima, sometimes called "Tree of Heaven". This tree blooms in June and has 8 to 16 inch long greenish-yellow blooms that hang down; another identifying characteristic is that on male trees the flowers stink and on female trees they are odorless. Maybe this is what you are thinking of.

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