Is Laburnum Tree Poisonous to Humans? Facts You Need to Know

Laburnum tree, also known as Golden Chain tree, is a popular ornamental tree that produces masses of yellow flowers in late spring. However, despite its striking beauty, the tree remains controversial due to its potentially poisonous nature. The Laburnum tree has been the subject of numerous debates and discussions among garden enthusiasts, parents, and pet owners alike, all seeking answers to the same question: “Is laburnum tree poisonous to humans?”

The mystery surrounding the toxicity of this tree has led to much confusion and misinformation over the years. Some swear by the tree’s beauty and charm and find it a valuable addition to any garden. However, others warn of its harmful effects and tell cautionary tales of pets and young children being poisoned by its flowers, leaves, or seeds. With so much conflicting information out there, it can be hard to know what to believe. That’s why in this article, we’ll delve into the truth behind Laburnum tree toxicity in a bid to separate fact from fiction and put your mind at ease.

If you’re considering planting a Laburnum tree and are concerned about its safety or have children or pets living nearby, this article will guide you through the potential risks, signs of poisoning, and what to do in the event of an emergency. We’ll also explore any new advancements in the research surrounding laburnum tree toxicity and the best ways to enjoy the tree safely. So, sit back, relax, and let’s get to the bottom of the question on everybody’s lips – “is laburnum tree poisonous to humans?”

Symptoms of Laburnum Tree Poisoning

The Laburnum tree, also known as Golden chain tree or Cytisus laburnum, is a popular ornamental tree widely cultivated in gardens and public parks for its beautiful yellow pea-like flowers. However, what many people don’t know is that all parts of the Laburnum tree are highly toxic to humans and animals if ingested, causing severe poisoning symptoms that could be life-threatening. Here are some of the most common symptoms of Laburnum tree poisoning:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness and headaches
  • Excessive salivation and sweating
  • Visual disturbances and dilated pupils
  • Weakness and muscle tremors
  • Irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing and seizures
  • Unconsciousness and coma

It is crucial to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you or someone else has been poisoned by the Laburnum tree, as the symptoms can rapidly progress and lead to death. There is no specific antidote for Laburnum tree poisoning, and treatment usually involves supportive care and symptom management based on the severity of the poisoning.

Precautions to be taken while handling laburnum tree

The Laburnum tree is known for its bright yellow flowers and lush green foliage. However, it is also known for its highly toxic nature, especially in its parts like seeds and pods. During the spring season, when the trees are in full bloom, it is important to take precautions while handling them.

  • Wear gloves: Always wear protective gloves while handling any part of the Laburnum tree, including its flowers, pods, and seeds. The toxins present in these parts can be easily absorbed through your skin, causing skin irritation, rashes, and even nausea and vomiting.
  • Avoid inhalation: Make sure you do not inhale any parts of the Laburnum tree, especially its pollen. The pollen can cause respiratory problems like asthma and may even be fatal in some cases.
  • Keep away from children and pets: The toxic nature of the Laburnum tree makes it highly dangerous for children and pets. Keep them away from the tree and its parts at all times.

If you do accidentally come in contact with any part of the Laburnum tree, immediately wash the affected area with soap and water and seek medical attention if necessary.

It is important to note that while the Laburnum tree is highly toxic, it is also a valuable tree for its aesthetic value. It is vital to take the necessary precautions while handling it to prevent any accidents from occurring.


The Laburnum tree is a beautiful yet dangerous tree. Its highly toxic nature makes it necessary to take precautions while handling it. By wearing gloves, avoiding inhalation, and keeping children and pets away, you can ensure your safety while enjoying the beauty of this tree. Remember to take extra care during the spring season when the tree is in full bloom.

Precautions Why it is important
Wear gloves Prevents toxins from being absorbed through skin
Avoid inhalation Prevents respiratory problems and potential fatalities
Keep away from children and pets Prevents accidents and potential poisoning

By following these precautions, you can safely enjoy the Laburnum tree and its beauty for years to come.

How to handle accidental ingestion of laburnum tree parts

Although laburnum trees are known to be poisonous to humans, accidental ingestion of its parts can still occur. It is important to know how to handle such incidents to prevent further harm.

  • Stay calm and try not to panic. Immediately seek medical attention and bring a sample of the ingested plant or tree for proper identification.
  • Induce vomiting if directed by medical professionals. However, this should not be done if the person has difficulty swallowing or is unconscious, as it may cause choking or aspiration.
  • Avoid giving any food or liquid to the affected person until medical help arrives, as this may worsen the situation.

Here are some additional precautions and information:

If possible, try to identify the specific part of the laburnum tree that was ingested, as different parts have varying levels of toxicity. The seeds, pods, and flowers are the most poisonous parts, while the leaves, bark, and wood contain lower levels of the toxin.

It is also important to take note of the symptoms that may arise from laburnum poisoning, such as vomiting, dizziness, seizures, and even coma. In severe cases, it can lead to death.

Ultimately, prevention is still the best way to avoid accidental ingestion of laburnum tree parts. Be familiar with the plant’s characteristics, keep an eye on children and pets, and avoid planting laburnum trees in areas accessible to them.

In case of accidental ingestion: Avoid:
– Remain calm and seek medical attention immediately. – Giving food or liquid until medical help arrives.
– Bring a sample of the plant or tree for proper identification. – Inducing vomiting without medical guidance.
– Observe symptoms that may arise and report them to medical professionals. – Planting laburnum trees in accessible areas to children and pets.

Accidental ingestion of laburnum tree parts can be a serious matter that requires immediate medical attention. By staying calm and knowing how to handle the situation, we can prevent further harm and ensure a better chance of recovery for the affected person.

Laburnum tree poisoning in animals and pets

Laburnum trees are not only toxic to humans but also to animals and pets. The tree contains cytisine, a toxic chemical that is highly concentrated in the seeds and bark of the Laburnum tree. Animals like dogs, cats, horses, and livestock are more susceptible to poisoning due to their curious nature of exploring the environment. Pets like dogs and cats are particularly at risk of ingesting the seeds, which are easily accessible due to their small size.

  • Dogs: Dogs are the most common victims of laburnum tree poisoning due to their tendency to chew on things. The symptoms of poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive panting, seizures, and even coma in severe cases. Immediate veterinary intervention is necessary to prevent accumulation of toxins in the body which can cause irreversible damage to liver and kidneys.
  • Cats: Cats are less likely to consume laburnum tree parts, but if they do, it can cause severe adverse effects. The most common symptoms of exposure in cats include vomiting, nausea, lethargy, and abdominal pain. A timely visit to a veterinarian can help in the administration of activated charcoal or fluids to prevent toxin absorption in the stomach and restore hydration balances in the body.
  • Livestock: Cattle, goats, and horses display symptoms of laburnum poisoning, including abdominal cramps, muscle weakness, lethargy, seizures, and respiratory distress. Owners of livestock are advised to keep them away from foraged areas where laburnum trees grow as it can lead to ingestion of the tree parts.

It’s essential to note that while laburnum poisoning can be fatal, early treatment can save an animal’s life. If an owner suspects that their pet has ingested any part of the laburnum tree, they must take immediate action, including a visit to the nearest veterinarian for the quickest possible recovery. Prevention is always better than cure, so do not allow pets free reign over areas where laburnum trees grow.

Species Symptoms of Poisoning Treatment
Dogs Vomiting, diarrhoea, panting, seizures, coma Immediate veterinarian assistance, activated charcoal, fluids
Cats Vomiting, nausea, lethargy, abdominal pain Immediate veterinarian assistance, activated charcoal, fluids
Livestock Abdominal cramps, muscle weakness, lethargy, seizures, respiratory distress Immediate veterinarian assistance, activated charcoal, fluids

It is important to mention that laburnum poisoning in animals and pets can be prevented by responsible pet ownership and keeping a watchful eye on their activities. Laburnum trees should be avoided in areas where pets are known to be active, and if necessary, planting other non-toxic plant species is advisable. Restricting access to potentially poisonous plants and awareness of the symptoms of laburnum poisoning can protect pets from life-threatening situations.

Comparison of Laburnum Tree Toxicity with Other Poisonous Trees

The laburnum tree is famously recognized for its eye-catching yellow flowers that make it an attractive addition to gardens and parks. However, underneath its stunning beauty lurks a dark danger. Laburnum trees are highly poisonous, and all parts of the tree, including leaves, flowers, and seeds, contain cytisine and other alkaloids that can cause severe harm, especially to children who are easily attracted to their colorful blooms. In this section, we will examine the toxicity of laburnum trees compared to other poisonous trees.

  • Yew Trees: Yew trees are among the most poisonous plants known to man, with their berries and leaves containing taxine, a potent protein synthesis inhibitor that can lead to heart failure, seizures, and even death.
  • Manchineel Trees: Manchineel trees, also known as the “Tree of Death,” are native to the Caribbean and produce sap that causes severe burning sensations on contact with the skin or mucous membranes. Ingesting their fruits can cause death due to gastroenteritis, dehydration, and shock.
  • Oleander Trees: Oleander trees produce beautiful pink and white flowers that are appealing, but all parts of these plants, including leaves, flowers, and sap, contain a lethal toxin called oleandrin. Ingesting even a small portion of oleander can lead to cardiac arrest and death.

While laburnum trees are not as lethal as some of these other trees, they still pose a significant risk if not handled with care. Ingestion of laburnum seeds can cause severe vomiting, convulsions, and even coma. It is important to keep children and pets away from laburnum trees and to dispose of their seed pods and fallen flowers carefully.

Below is a table that summarizes the toxicity level of these poisonous trees and their symptoms if ingested:

Tree Name Toxin Symptoms
Laburnum Trees Cytisine and other alkaloids Severe vomiting, convulsions, and coma if ingested
Yew Trees Taxine Heart failure, seizures, and death if ingested
Manchineel Trees Sap that causes burning sensation, and fruits that cause gastroenteritis, dehydration, and shock if ingested Burning sensation, death due to gastroenteritis, dehydration, and shock if ingested
Oleander Trees Oleandrin Cardiac arrest and death if even a small portion is ingested

In conclusion, laburnum trees are not the most lethal among other poisonous trees. Still, their toxicity levels should not be underestimated, and people should always handle them with care and dispose of their seed pods and fallen flowers to prevent ingestion by children and pets.

Myths and misconceptions about laburnum tree poisoning

Laburnum tree is often considered as poisonous due to several myths and misconceptions that surround it. Here are the popular myths and misconceptions about laburnum tree poisoning:

  • Myth: All parts of the laburnum tree are toxic. While it’s true that laburnum tree contains toxic compounds, not all parts of the plant are equally poisonous. The seeds are the most toxic parts, followed by the pods and flowers. The bark, leaves, and stems contain fewer toxic compounds.
  • Myth: A small amount of laburnum ingestion won’t cause harm. Ingesting even a small amount of laburnum can be harmful, especially for children and pets. The toxic compounds in laburnum can cause vomiting, convulsions, and even death, depending on the amount ingested.
  • Myth: Laburnum poisoning can be treated by inducing vomiting. Inducing vomiting in case of laburnum poisoning can be dangerous as the toxic compounds can cause convulsions and seizures, which can lead to aspiration of vomit. It’s best to seek medical help immediately in case of any ingestion.

It’s essential to remember that laburnum tree is toxic and can cause harm if ingested. It’s best to avoid planting laburnum trees in areas where children and pets can access them.

Here’s a quick table summarizing the toxic compounds and effects of laburnum tree poisoning:

Part of the plant Toxic compound Effect of poisoning
Seeds Cytisine Vomiting, convulsions, respiratory failure, and even death
Pods and flowers Cytisine and scopoletin Vomiting, convulsions, and respiratory failure
Bark, leaves, and stems Cytisine and other toxic compounds in lesser amounts Less toxic and may cause mild symptoms

Overall, it’s essential to be aware of the toxic nature of laburnum tree and take necessary precautions to avoid any ingestion or contact with the plant.

Medicinal uses of laburnum tree despite its toxic nature

Despite the fact that laburnum tree is poisonous, it has a long history of medicinal uses. Traditional healers have used different parts of the plant to treat various ailments.

Here are some of the medicinal uses of laburnum tree:

  • Treatment of skin diseases: The bark of the laburnum tree was traditionally used in the treatment of various skin diseases. The bark contains alkaloids that have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Treatment of respiratory problems: Laburnum tree was commonly used to treat respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis. The leaves of the tree contain alkaloids that have bronchodilator properties.
  • Pain relief: The bark of the laburnum tree contains alkaloids that act as pain relievers. In traditional medicine, the bark was used for the treatment of headaches, toothaches, and other kinds of pain.

Despite these medicinal uses, it is crucial to note that laburnum tree is a poisonous plant. The plant should not be used without proper guidance from a qualified healthcare provider.

Here is a table showing the common alkaloids found in different parts of the laburnum tree:

Part of the tree Alkaloid(s) present
Seeds Cytisine, N-methylcytisine
Bark Cytisine, sparteine, lupanine, angustifoline
Leaves Cytisine, N-methylcytisine, lupanine, angustifoline

While the laburnum tree may have some medicinal uses, it is essential to avoid self-medication by consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The poisonous nature of the plant makes it essential to use it with caution.

FAQs About Laburnum Tree Poisoning in Humans

Laburnum trees can be found in many gardens and parks across the country. Their bright yellow flowers and attractive looks are admired by many. However, many people also wonder whether laburnum trees are poisonous to humans. Here are some FAQs to help you understand more about the potential dangers of laburnum trees:

1. Are all parts of the laburnum tree toxic?

Yes, the entire tree contains toxic compounds known as cytisine and sparteine, both of which can be extremely poisonous if ingested.

2. Can just touching the tree cause harm?

No, touching the tree is not dangerous unless you have open wounds or scratches on your skin. Ingesting any of its parts, however, can cause serious harm.

3. What are the symptoms of laburnum poisoning in humans?

The symptoms of laburnum poisoning can range from nausea, cramps, and diarrhea, to convulsions, coma, and respiratory failure. In severe cases, the poisoning can be fatal.

4. What should you do if you suspect someone has been poisoned by a laburnum tree?

If you suspect someone has been poisoned by a laburnum tree, contact emergency services immediately. Do not attempt to induce vomiting or give them any food or drink unless instructed to do so by a medical professional.

5. Can small amounts of laburnum be harmful?

Yes, even small amounts of laburnum can be harmful. Ingesting just a few seeds or pods could be enough to cause serious harm.

6. What if someone accidentally ingests some part of the laburnum tree?

If someone accidentally ingests part of a laburnum tree, seek medical assistance immediately. In many cases, the earlier the treatment, the better the chances of a full recovery.

7. Should I remove laburnum trees from my garden?

It is generally advised to avoid planting laburnum trees if you have young children or pets who may be at risk of ingesting its parts. If you already have a laburnum tree in your garden, it’s best to keep it trimmed and tidy, so its seeds and pods are unable to fall to the ground where they may be accidentally ingested.


We hope this article has helped you understand more about the potential dangers of laburnum trees. While they are certainly beautiful, it’s important to be aware of the risks and take appropriate measures to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you have any further questions or concerns, please consult with your local nursery or a qualified arborist. Thanks for reading, and please visit again soon for more informative articles!