what is Chinese Tallow Tree: Invasive Plant

Chinese Tallow Tree: Invasive Plant

Chinese tallow tree scientifically called Triadica sebifera (L.) Small (ITIS), also called popcorn tree, is native to China and Japan and was introduced to southern Asia in the 1700s as an ornamental tree with a small to medium-sized tree with colorful foliage.

The cool thing about this tree is its resistance to a wide range of environmental conditions, as well as being resistant to pests.

Stay with us in this article to know more about this ornamental chinses tallow. We’ll explore the physical description of this tree and other details.

Chinese Tallow Tree: Invasive Plant

 

Description and identification of Chinese tallow tree

  1. Chinese tallow trees, such as large shrubs or medium-sized trees, can grow up to 60 feet (18.3 m) high and 3 feet (90 cm) in diameter.
  2. The tree branches spread and are identified by their broad, waxy-green leaves, growing up to 1.5 to 3.5 inches wide.
  3. The shape of the leaves is like a heart: wide in the base, which ends with the tip of a taper. Leaves on the tree’s top side are darker than leaves on the lower side.
  4. The surface of Chinese leaves is hairless, and the color of leaves changes to yellow, orange, or red in the autumn.
  5. The tree produces yellow flowers without petals on dangling spikes up to 8 inches (20 cm) long, typically flowering between April and June.
  6. In the springtime, you can see catkins on branches of Chinese tallow trees, which range from 2 to 8 inches in length.
  7. Some trees produce many catkins, while most can only produce one per branch. Each catkin includes female flowers at the bottom and male flowers near the tips.
  8. Followed by blooming, the tree bears fruits in a three-lobed capsule shape 2 cm in size at the end of the summer.
  9. The tree’s other common name, “grey popcorn tree,” is derived from the appearance of its mature fruit. Once the Chinese fruits ripen, they become black and dried out and release their white-waxy seeds.
  10. With the help of birds or other environmental agents, the tree seeds spread in different regions. As seeds in the soil can remain intact for up to 5 years, it is more likely that they become successful in growing as a tree.
  11. The tree’s bark ranges from light to dark gray, with some cracks on the body.

Description and identification of Chinese tallow tree

Is the Chinese tallow tree invasive?

  1. As mentioned before, Chinese tallow trees can adapt to different ranges of environmental conditions, from sunny to shady places, from wet to dry; they can grow at massive levels nonstop.
  2. You can see Chinese tallow along with roadsides, coastal areas, and streams.
  3. Chinese tallow tree species produce large amounts of seeds, over 1000,000 seeds, which shows their success in dispersing by birds, floods, etc.,
  4. Besides seeds, they can grow from cut stumps or roots.
  5. You can see the crowd of Chinese tallow trees in most areas of China. Despite their ornamental features, their leaves and fruits are toxic to cattle, and if humans eat them, they can cause nausea and other sicknesses.
  6. In addition to its detrimental effects on creatures, it can change the soil chemistry of the area.

Is the Chinese tallow tree invasive?

How to control the spread of Chinese tallow trees?

  • Controlling the spread of Chinese tallow trees is challenging due to their long taproot and ability to sprout from break points in lateral roots.
  • It is recommended to keep any Chinese tallow tree from your building and land, and you can apply physical and mechanical removal methods, such as burning, which are not ideal.
  • Instead, combining these methods with chemical control via herbicides, including 2, 4-D, famine, hexazinone, imazapyr, metsulfuron, and triclopyr, may prove effective. Caution should be used when applying herbicides near trees growing near water.
  • Biological control agents, such as the flea beetle (Bikasha collaris) and the noctuid moth (Gadirtha fusca), are currently being evaluated for their potential to control Chinese tallow tree populations.
  • To limit the spread of Chinese tallow tree, you can plant alternative trees that are native to the region, such as Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), sassafras (Sassafras albidum) or sugar maple (Acer saccharum) which have high adaptability to the variety of environments. This is also an important thing that you need to understand in the best way, which would be important.

How to control the spread of Chinese tallow trees?

The last words

Although the Chinese tallow tree is an attractive ornamental choice for some landscapes, its invasive nature and ecological impact should be noticed.

With the physical features belonging to the tallow tree, you can identify this tree in your region.

In this article, we introduced some ways to limit the spread of Chinese tallow trees and hope reading this article helps you to make a wise decision in the case of planting it as an ornamental feature in your garden.

After reading this article, is it worth planting a Chinese tallow tree in your area? Why?

Please share your ideas with us in the comment section.

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