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I'd like now what this tree is in order to find out how to prune and whether or not the shadow of a rubinia close by is a problem as I have the impression the tree is weak (at least it was the case last year.

The tree has yellow flowers and oval leaves. The fruits/seeds have a similar form as a maple-tree.

Here are some pictures (click to enlargen):

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

This is Laburnum × watereri also known as golden chain tree. The most common cultivar is "Vossii". I note that all parts of the plant are poisonous. It's a member of the pea family (Fabaceae).

In North America this plant is prized for it's stunning, fragrant,short lived floral display but can be a little fussy. Not too hot (USDA 7), not too cold (USDA 5).

The tree tends to have weak floppy growth. A program of preventive pruning to decrease the number of top shoots in awkward locations that rub other branches or put too much weight on the base trunk is recommended.

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+1 you beat me to it. In salt lake city they do pretty well in partial shade. –  Grady Player May 7 '12 at 15:14
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