I am not disturbed in the least that dead branches frequently fall from the Goldenrain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) that borders the driveway. If this is a symptom of some greater problem (doubtful), all the better since the tree is the cause of many hours of labor as many thousands of seeds germinate. Yes, the tree is handsome in leaf and in flower (below), but issues with seedlings that somehow find their way over half the garden are unforgivable.
If, by some chance, the goldenrain would be toppled in a storm, a sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) stands just behind that has long been nearly invisible from this side of the garden. I expect that trees surrounded by lawn are not so much of a problem, but in this acre and a quarter there are only small areas of grass, and seedlings grow in the many shaded areas as quickly as in full sun.
Unfortunately, the second of two of the garden’s other yellow flowered tree, the Golden Chain tree (Laburnum x watereri ‘Pendulum’, below) has finally died after declining for a number of years. The first died several years ago, and now the second has gone. I believe the cause of the long decline is heat since it seems that most areas where the Golden Chain is successful are cooler than this Virginia garden. The two were planted in varying degrees of part shade so they were protected from the heat of the afternoon sun, but neither grew substantially So, the two small trees did not stand out and thus will hardly be missed.
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There were four that I put in at my former home. Two at my home were fine, but the two I put in front next door succumbed to soil saturation. The so-called ‘gardener’ adjusted the automated irrigation such that the lawn was always muddy. They would have been nice trees by now.
Anyway, the seedlings were not too terribly numerous. The problem with them was that they came up in the expansion joints of the concrete.