The Q&A Archives: Golden Rain Tree

Question: Please forward information reguarding growth and care of golden rain trees from seed.

Answer: Goldenrain Tree is Koelreuteria paniculata. It thrives in full sunshine, growing slowly to 20'-35' with a 10'-40' spread. Its a tough tree, taking extremes in cold, heat, wind, alkaline soil and fluctuating water supplies. Young trees need regular watering, but after a few years will get along with only natural rainfall. Prune when young to achieve the framework you want, then prune only occasionally to remove unwanted growth.

The seeds will need both scarification and stratification prior to germinating. You can soak the seeds to soften the seedcoat or chip them. (Use very hot water and soak overnight, or nick the seedcoat and soak in room temperature water overnight.) Then place the seeds in a plastic bag with some moistened growing medium and refrigerate for three months. Remove, sow seeds on the surface of moistened seed starting mix and press them in. Seeds need light to germinate so don't cover them with additional soil. Seedlings will emerge in 30-60 days when kept at 55F-65F.

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