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Article: Chinese Tallow Tree

Chinese Tallow Tree
Weed Identification >

Chinese Tallow Tree

Common Name

Chinese Tallow, Candleberry tree, Chicken tree, Florida aspen, Popcorn tree, Tallowtree, White wax berry

Scientific Name

Triadica sebifera





Seasons of Growth


Key Distinguishing Feature

Small tree with waxy white seeds

• It typically grows during the warmer seasons, with leaves turning red or orange before falling in autumn.

• Growth Form: Chinese Tallow Tree is a medium-sized tree that can reach heights of up to 15-20 meters (50-66 feet). It has a rounded or spreading canopy.

• Leaves: The leaves are simple, alternate, and typically have a distinctive shape with three lobes, similar to a maple leaf. They are typically glossy green but can turn red or orange in the fall.

• Fruit: The fruit is a three-lobed capsule that contains white waxy seeds. These seeds have a waxy coating that is sometimes used to make candles, giving rise to the common name "Candleberry Tree."

• Habitat: Chinese Tallow Tree is commonly found in disturbed areas, wetlands, and along watercourses. It has become invasive in some regions.


Ecological Impact:

• Chinese Tallow Tree is considered an invasive species in many regions, particularly in the southeastern United States. It can form dense thickets and outcompete native vegetation.

• The waxy seeds can be toxic to some wildlife species.


Control Methods:

• Control of Chinese Tallow Tree often involves a combination of mechanical, chemical, and cultural methods.

• Mechanical methods include cutting and removing the trees, particularly before they produce seeds.

• Herbicides may be used for control, but care must be taken to use them safely and effectively, following local regulations.

• Preventing the establishment of Chinese Tallow Tree through vigilant monitoring and early removal is important to prevent its spread.


Chinese Tallow Tree is a problematic invasive species in regions where it has naturalized, and effective management is essential to prevent its further spread and protect native ecosystems. Local authorities and environmental agencies often provide guidance on the best control practices for this invasive tree.


Key Products for Control:

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