The Golden Rain Tree is absolutely amazing. This tree is native to eastern Asia and was introduced to the United States by Thomas Jefferson who received seeds from Madame de Tesse, a correspondent from France. For more history on the plant visit, http://www.arhomeandgarden.org/plantoftheweek/articles/Golden_Raintree.htm
My mom reminded me of this plant over the Thanksgiving holidays. She has one planted in her yard and for my wedding we used the seed pods to decorate. The seed pods are beautiful. They are a rosy pinkish color and great for decorating. You can cut the pods, bunch several together and tie a pretty ribbon around them and hang them where you might hang a wreath. I typically hang mine upside down. You can also wire the pods into a wreath. It can be a very inexpensive way to decorate especially if you have a tree or a friend has a tree.
The tree is a fast grower and has yellow blooms in the Spring and then the pinkish pods in the Fall. There are mixed reviews on the plant. All agree that the tree is beautiful, but some feel that it is obtrusive. You will find lots of saplings from this tree in your yard. You will just need to pull them or mow them down before growth sets in. Saplings are common for many trees. The plant can tolerate drought conditions and cold weather as far North as Chicago.
My mom has a couple extra trees so I am thinking about making this plant an addition to my garden. If you are going to plant this you should do it soon and make sure to put a good think layer of mulch over the top to protect it from freeze and maybe even wrap the lower part of the trunk. The tree goes dormant so you should be fine; however, if you are concerned wait and plant it in early Spring. This plant sometimes does not come out of dormancy until late Spring so don’t give up hope if you are not seeing life on it as soon as you would like.
Enjoy! And if you have access to a rain tree use some of the pods to decorate for the holidays.