Anyone growing a Bottle Tree?

tucson_daizy(USz8 tucson)August 1, 2005

There is a tree near my place that I have been curious about. I think I have identified it as a Bottle Tree. The leaves look like the top picture in the link I posted. It has woody 3 inch dark brown seed pods that split and contain fuzz covered yellow seeds. It is located in Yuma and is about 15' tall and 6' wide but it is probably just a baby.

Is anyone growing this tree? Is it really evergreen? (I haven't watched it through the winter yet) Does it really get 40' as a yard tree? The link says it is sensitive to Texas root rot, has anyone had a big problem with that?

I was at one of the big box stores this weekend and they had 2 Chitalpa trees, which is what I have been looking for, but both specimens had brown spots on their leaves. If this Bottle tree does well in Arizona, I might plant it instead.

Any info is appreciated!

Here is a link that might be useful: Bottle Tree

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judy_b(AZ zone 9)

The Bottle tree does extremely well here. They have a nice woodsy look. The leaf shape is variable. They stay green and they get large.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 12:19PM
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tucson_daizy(USz8 tucson)

Do you think it would be too large for my 20'x40' yard? Will it take 50 years or so to reach its full height? If so, maybe I won't be the owner of the house anymore. (is that bad to say?)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 12:51PM
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ddiverblue(Z9 AZ)

My neighbor has 2 mature trees right next to our wall. The Bottle tree is an extremely messy tree. We have leaves and seed pods in our yard all year. They also reseed readily. I continually pull out young seedlings. There have to be better choices!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 1:23PM
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judy_b(AZ zone 9)

They ARE messy. It all depends on what you're looking for. If you want a particular look you may choose a tree and be willing to put up with the problems. Personally, I would plant a Dahlberg Sissoo. Evergreen, except in very cold weather, nice medium green and not messy. They will get very large but can be kept smaller with less water. This is a pic of mine, it's about 10 years old.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 1:48PM
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I have had 3 of them for 5 years. Keep thinking that I need to take them out before they get any bigger. I like the look but not the mess.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 1:50PM
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tucson_daizy(USz8 tucson)

How disappointing. I thought I had found the perfect tree for my yard. I guess I didn't notice the litter because it is surrounded by bouganvillas. I had trouble finding a seed pod on the ground.

I guess it's back to Chitalpa, or Sisso, I will have to check that one out.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 3:03PM
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I agree, it's a very messy tree. It also drops WHOLE limbs whenever it feels like it, whether it be windy or not. It is evergreen, but it also drops leaves all year long. I wouldn't plant another one, even if it was free!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 9:03PM
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Stay away from Bottle Trees!!! They drop leaves all summer long and create a mess for you and your neighbors. I had four such trees and finally removed the last of them.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 10:13PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

There was a row of mature bottle trees along the street where I used to live in Phoenix. They are extremely messy as everyone says. I would never plant one. They do drop leaves and branches and the pods hurt like heck when you step on them barefoot . I seem to remember them staining the sidewalk as well.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 10:52PM
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I am interested in buying Bottle tree pods,not the seeds, for a craft porject. I would be willing to pay you for your time and of course shipping. I am in NM and you can contact me at Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 11:05AM
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I second Judy's choice: Sissoo. I really think it's the best shade tree for here. Very fast growing, not messy at all, evergreen, beautiful.
About the bottle trees, my neighbor has one. I'm not crazy about them, I particularly don't care about the weird shapes. They are messy, but I have African Sumacs that are WAY worse. They do grow very fast, so no, I don't think it would take 50 years to mature. Even a 10 year old tree would be a fairly good size.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 12:56PM
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