Don’t you love it when trees let go of their flowers and give us the most wonderful display? This is usually in spring and summer when the world is about new growth, beginnings, and the promise of the sun that is to come. Of all the flowering trees, I always think the best are those with yellow flowers.
To me, they look as though they have been crowned, particularly in the late afternoon when the yellow turns to gold. These just have to be the royalty of trees.
Read about some of the crowning glory of trees with yellow flowers.
Related: Trees with Blue Flowers | Trees with Purple Flowers | Trees with White Flowers | Trees with Red Flowers
1. Golden Shower Tree (Cassia Fistula)
The Golden Shower tree is also known as the India Laburnum or purging cassia. It grows naturally in Southern and South East Asia. The tree can grow to about 40 feet (12 m), with a spread of about 19 feet (6 m).
The tree gets its name from the hanging clusters of bright yellow flowers that cover it in spring, turning it golden. The flowers have a strong fragrance.
These beautiful trees grow best in full sun and need a moderate amount of water. They grow in USDA zone 10b and are relatively sensitive to frost. Golden shower trees are quite adaptable to water conditions and grow in both sandy and loamy soil, but they do prefer well-drained soil.
If you don’t want to have a very big tree in your yard, then you can prune the Golden Shower in winter, cutting back the high-reaching branches.
2. Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)
The Tulip Poplar is a g tree with quite bright green spiky leaves that turn yellow and orange in fall. In spring, the tree is covered with beautiful, single blooms. The flowers are yellowy-green and are shaped exactly like the tulip flowers found mainly in the Netherlands. The two are not related, though. In fact, the Tulip Poplar is part of the Magnolia family.
Tulip Poplar trees are native to the South Eastern United States and grow in USDA zones 4 to 9. They are quite hardy but do need full sun and quite a lot of water because the root system is not very extensive. The roots need well-drained soil, with a slightly acidic pH.
3. Tipu (Tipuana Tipu)
The Tipu is a medium-sized tree, reaching about 75 feet (23 m), and has a broad canopy. The small, dark green leaves grow in sets of about 12 along thin stems. Small, bright yellow flowers that grow in clusters cover the tree in spring.
Being a tropical tree, the Tipu needs a warmer climate and can only grow in USDA zones 9 – 11. It is very sensitive to cold and prefers to grow in full sun, although it will do well in shade, as long as the climate is generally warm.
When it comes to soil, the Tipu is very adaptable and can grow in just about any type of soil, with any pH. Given the choice, they do prefer slightly acidic soil. They will need regular watering, especially when the weather is dry.
4. Mimosa (Acacia dealbata)
The Mimosa is a medium-sized tree, with a rounded shape and a wide canopy spread. It usually grows to about 25 – 30 feet (7 – 9 m). The flowers are tiny, fluffy yellow balls that cluster together and cover the tree during the flowering season, in winter. This makes the tree stand out from those around it. The flowers contrast with the evergreen, fern-like foliage.
This tree is indigenous to the Middle East and Asia and is quite hardy. It is found in the South, South West, and North East United States and is tolerant of USDA zones 6 – 9. They prefer well-drained soil, with a pH of 4.6 – 5. The soil should be kept constantly moist. This means the trees require a moderate amount of water. They prefer to grow in full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
5. Chinese Flame Tree (Koelreuteria bipinnata)
The Chinese Flame tree is native to Southern China and can grow to anywhere between 23 – 65 feet (7 and 20 m). They have quite a spread, with a rounded shape, which can be trained by regular pruning to encourage one main stem to grow. The leaves are dark green and have two parts, consisting of about 10 pairs of spiky leaves.
The tree flowers in summer into fall, and produce tiny bright yellow flowers that grow along thin stems.
These trees are well adapted in many respects. They can grow in just about any type of soil, including sandy, loamy, and clay soil. They also do well in slightly acidic and alkaline soil, with a pH between 5 and 7.
The trees are also quite tolerant of heat and frost but do prefer to grow in full sun. The Chinese Flame tree needs a moderate supply of water. It grows in USDA zones 7 to 9.
6. Austrian Briar (Rosa foetida)
The Austrian Briar is a small tree, sometimes classed as a shrub. It will grow to no more than 7 ft (2 m), with a spread of about 5 feet (1.5 m). In summer, it produces golden-yellow flowers, which contrast with the dull, grey-green foliage. The flowers are individual blooms, which look a bit like open, single-layered roses, to which this tree is related.
This is a fairly amenable tree, needing moderate watering, relatively frost resistant, and tolerating any soil pH. The Austrian briar prefers to grow in full sun and does well in USDA zone 10a. The soil it grows in should be quite well-drained but kept moist.
7. Golden Trumpet (Tabebuia chrysotricha / Handroanthus chrysotrichus)
The Golden Trumpet tree gets its name from its flowers. In spring, it produces a fantastic display of bright yellow trumpet-shaped blooms in spring. These make it stand out from most other vegetation.
It is native to Central America and Northern South America and prefers a warmer climate. This is why it grows best in USDA zones 9b – 11.
Growing to a maximum height of 80 ft (24 m), the Golden Trumpet tree does best in sunny conditions, preferring sandy soil, with a pH between 5 and 6. It is also quite drought-resistant. For a magnificent tree, let it grow, but you can control the growth by pruning it back in early spring.
8. Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa)
The Kousa Dogwood is a relatively small tree that grows to between 26 and 40 feet (8 and 12 m) and has a spread of between 12 and 25 feet (4 and 8 m). It is native to Eastern Asia and does well when it is planted near the American native flowering Dogwood.
In late spring, the flowers appear and create a wonderful display. They are made up of four white bracts (adapted leaf ‘baskets’), in which the yellow-green flowers grow.
Kousa Dogwood trees grow best in full sun and only need a light amount of water. They are frost-hardy and can withstand quite low temperatures. In fact, they grow in USDA zones 5 to 8.
They prefer moist, fertile soil, but are also quite drought-resistant and can grow when the conditions are drier. The optimum pH is about 5.5, although they can adapt to more alkaline soil.
9. Sweet Acacia (Acacia farnesiana)
One of the trademarks of the Sweet Acacia is the small, yellowy-gold puffball flowers that cover the tree in late winter / early spring. The foliage of the tree is dark brown and feathery and there are thorns on the branches and stems. The trees reach about 15 – 20 feet (4 – 6 m) high, with a spread of about 15 – 20 ft (4.5 – 6 m).
This is a very hardy tree, being very drought tolerant and resistant to most pests and insects. It grows best in the full sun but can do well in partial shade. Soil should be loose and well-drained and can be slightly acidic, neutral, or slightly alkaline. The Sweet Acacia doesn’t need a lot of water and doesn’t do well in heavy clay soils that can retain too much water.
The Sweet Acacia is native to the desert in the South Western USA, Mexico, and Chile. It grows well in USDA zones 9 – 11.
10. Yellow Buckeye (Aesculus flava)
A mature Yellow Buckeye can grow to about 60 – 75 feet (18 – 23 m), with a canopy that spreads to about 30 feet (10 m). The bark is thick and the foliage quite a dark green. In spring, the flowers appear. They are a yellow-orange color and are long clusters of individual tube-shaped blooms, from which the stamens protrude.
The Yellow Buckeye prefers to grow in full or partial sun. It does best in acidic, well-drained soil that is moist and can hold the necessary amount of water. This is really quite an adaptable tree and can tolerate alkaline soil and is quite drought resistant.
The Yellow Buckeye grows in HSDA zones 4 to 8 and is native to Illinois, North America.
11. Laburnum (Calpurnia aurea)
The sight of a Laburnum in full bloom is a wonderful sight. The flowers are hanging chains about 10 inches (25 cm) long that adorn every branch. They are made up of small, individual blooms. It is the flowers that give the tree its alternative name the Golden Chain tree. The most common flowering season is usually Spring but can differ slightly, depending on the rainfall in the area in which they grow.
The Laburnum is a small tree, growing to only 7 – 14 feet (4 – 6 m). The leaves are grey-green and are made up of a set of twin leaves. It grows in partial or direct sun and in just about any type of soil, with any pH. However, its preference is for alkaline loam soil that is well-drained.
The trees grow well in USDA zones 5b to 7. They can be pruned to train them to have one strong stem when they are young. The canopy will also have to be pruned.
The common Laburnum originates in southern Europe but has been introduced into many countries. The whole plant is toxic, so any contact with any part must be avoided.
12. Yellow Oleander (Thevetia peruviana)
The Yellow Oleander originates in the Mediterranean but has been naturalized all over the Pacific and in areas of Africa. It grows naturally in the savanna and along watercourses.
The leaves of the tree are quite dark green and long and thin. The flowers are individual, bright yellow tubular flowers that seem to hide between the spiky leaves. They bloom in summer.
It is a small, slender tree that grows to about 5 – 8 feet (1.5 – 2.3 m) tall. It grows well in USDA zones 8 to 10 and is quite intolerant of cooler temperatures. Full or partial sun suits the Yellow Oleander and it needs to be watered regularly during the summer. During Fall and Winter, the plants need less water.
To keep the root system healthy, the Yellow Oleander should grow in very well-drained soil, which ideally should be alkaline. However, they can grow in soil with a pH from 5 to 8.3.
As with all Oleander trees, the Yellow Oleander is toxic.
13. Yellow Elder (Tecoma stans)
The Yellow Elder is a fast-growing tree and can reach heights of 20 feet (6 meters). It is a popular feature in a garden but will need to be pruned annually to keep it at a manageable size. It needs full sun or only partial shade and should grow in loamy soil that is well-drained, with a neutral pH.
It can adapt to growing in more acidic or alkaline soil. The Yellow Elder prefers warmer temperatures and grows in HSDA zones 10 – 11.
The flowers of the Yellow Elder are open trumpet-shaped very bright yellow and occur as individual blooms in clusters. They contrast with the bright green foliage. The tree has a long growing season and produces blooms from spring to fall.
The Yellow Elder needs to be watered regularly when the weather is hot and dry but does not tolerate too much water. In an area with good average rainfall, it should not need additional watering.
14. Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia)
The Forsythia is a short tree (sometimes described as a shrub) that only grows to about 8 to 10 feet (2.5 – 3.5 m). The plant has a wide spread of about 10 – 12 feet (3 – 4 m). Forsythia is native to China but has been introduced to many places outside of its home country.
The flowers are small and yellow, with four petals. The trees bloom in early spring and produce a spectacular show of characteristic blooms.
Forsythias grow in USDA zones 5 – 8. They prefer full sun, but will also do well in partial shade. It should get at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. When it comes to soil, Forsythia grows best in moist, loamy, sandy, well-drained soil. It is not fussy about pH and can tolerate both alkalines, and neutral and acidic soil.
15. Blue Palo Verde (Cercidium floridum)
The Blue Palo Verde is indigenous to North America. It is a widespread tree with a spread of up to 25 feet (8 m). It can grow up to 25 feet (8 m) tall. The tree has delicate branches and it has a green trunk and small yellow-green leaves. They need well-drained soil, with a neutral or slightly alkaline pH. They do not do well in acidic soil.
These trees prefer to grow in full sun but are quite tolerant of mild winters. They grow best in HSDA zones 8 – 11. They need a low amount of water and are quite drought resistant.
In Spring, the Blue Palo Verde produces a wonderful display of bright yellow flowers. They take over the tree and make a spectacular show.
16. Gold Medallion (Cassia leptophylla)
The Gold Medallion tree is native to Brazil. It is not a very tall tree, reaching only about 25 feet ( 8 m), but has a magnificent spread, growing to something like 30 feet (9 m) wide. It is necessary to prune the trees when they are young and to train them to develop a rounded crown.
They are quite adaptable trees and can grow in clay or loamy soil. Younger trees need a moderate amount of water. This decreases when the trees are mature and they are quite drought-tolerant.
The brilliant yellow flowers of the Gold Medallion tree are individual blooms that grow in clusters that look like orbs. This is what gives the tree its particular brilliance when it flowers in summer.
These trees prefer warmer temperatures and grow best in HSDA zones 9b to 11.