Last year our tree, which is alive, had no flowers!? What can I do to help it next year?
Don't feed it, starvation is more likely to lead to flowering.
Then again ......? Our tree, of about eighty years old, looked to be getting weaker - poor leaves and smaller, fewer flowers so I asked a local tree surgeon if he felt it was needing his services. He replied "Do you feed it?" I said no and he said to get feeding it - how else could it grow well? I now feed it blood, fish and bone with a good mulch of compost every Spring and it looks very good each year.
Have a good look at your tree and try whichever of those two suggestions hasn't been working
Perhaps a clue will be how the tree looks apart from the lack of flowers - if it's making growth and has plenty of healthy foliage and you've been feeding it then I'd stop feeding (although you could give it some potash to encourage flowering).
But it's looking a bit weak all over with little new growth and sparse foliage then it will benefit from some feed and a good mulching.
I'd give it a thick manure mulch now and a liquid feed when in growth. You do get this with flowering trees - they'll adopt a good year / bad year cycle if food is getting short or conditions have been unusual. I generally consider it the tree's way of saying "Oi! You with the mud under your nails! Little help here!".
as I am sure you know laburnum seeds are very poisonous when eaten,small children are often tempted to eat them as they look like pea pods.they are very deadly.
If we took out all the toxic plants, we'd have some very big gaps in gardens! The usual problem is trying to get kids to eat peas or any other greens. I think fear of poisoning is greatly overstated.
Thank you all for the suggestions. Feeding it appears to be the most suitable course of action in relation to our sad looking tree and so we will do that next year.
not really my friends children were poisoned and taken to hospital in a bad way and they were lucky.I think its best to either educate people to know about toxic plants and how to avoid being poisoned as in old days parents taught their children how to recognise plants and berries they should avoid.Having worked 43 years in nursing believe me a lot of people and children eat the wrong things which could of been avoid.
Well, I think you've got the answer there, Rose, which is that it's all about good parenting and education. I spent all my childhood grubbing about among berries, fungi and so on, as did many of my friends, without any ill-effects. The answer is to get closer to the plants rather than further away from them. I'm more concerned about what many people deliberately give their children to eat!
Too right Joe.