Need a source for Chinese tallow tree berries

morgnz(z5 MO)November 20, 2002

Does anyone know where I can purchase branches of Chinese tallow tree? I think the botanical name is sapium sebiferum. This is a warm-growing tree (zone 7 or 8) that bears clusters of white berries on its bare branches. They make great winter decorations. Thanks.

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I don't mean to preach, but please (if you're going to plant it) check to make sure that it's not invasive where you live. Where I live, it's completely taking over. It's very pretty, but my town is launching a campaign to get rid of it. Also, I've read that you have to burn branches because loose branches will sprout. Sorry I wasn't helpful. And I didn't mean to admonish; I'm an environmental educator, and I feel compelled to take an opportunity when it presents itself. Good luck with your decorating. Live greenery is so lovely. Happy Holidays!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2002 at 3:26PM
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morgnz(z5 MO)

Islandyard, no offense taken. I'm only looking for the branches with dried berries to use as decoration. The tree would never survive in our climate. I just like the white berries. If you should come across some that are going to be destroyed anyway, I would gladly pay shipping for some.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2002 at 10:56AM
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Can you describe to me exactly what you want? I can probably accommodate. I actually have a couple of trees in my yard (that I am looking to kill) who could spare some berries.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2002 at 10:29AM
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morgnz(z5 MO)

I'm just looking for some branches, maybe 12 to 18 inches long, with berry clusters on them. Actually, even short twigs with berry clusters would be nice. So what's the problem with this plant? Is it a rampant vine, an aggressive tree? I thought they were just pretty - not a major nuisance. But then, I don't have to live with them.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2002 at 2:06PM
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I can send you some branches with berries. They are very agressive (down here) trees that grow (from what I understand) on such a root system that if you cut down a tree, another will sprout a few yards from it off of the same roots. They grow in swampy areas and dry areas. I've been told that they show resistance to poison, and they will grow from piles of cut branches lying on the ground. The town is trying to kill them, but they seem to be meeting with little success. I am new to this area, but these trees are everywhere, crowding out other trees (they grow very quickly). I have begun pulling up seedlings when I can. I have two trees in my yard, and they are very pretty; the leaves change to lovely red. But, not only do I feel the need to get rid of them because of my principles, they make me a little nervous - like having kudzu creeping into your yard. So you are welcome to all the berries you want. Here is my e-mail address if you want to contact me about mailing you some:

    Bookmark   December 6, 2002 at 4:31PM
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johnnyapleseed(b5 Ga)

I have several seedlings will ship to anyone for postage!
This tree has two grown ones in my back yard. They produced
seed and butifull fall foligage. It is also a good shade tree. I do not consider it a pest!.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2003 at 7:37PM
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it is a pest in Texas - it will take over and crowd out most other trees. It took us two years to kill the stump/roots of the one we cut down - I will admit the leaves in the Fall are very pretty. It is the kudzu of Texas.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2003 at 12:36AM
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What part of Texas would these Tallow Berry Trees be found - Dallas area (North Texas), Houston area (South Texas) or out west.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2003 at 8:41PM
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Joeray(Z9 LA)

They're a weedy, trash tree in South Louisiana. Be careful what you ask for!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2004 at 9:57PM
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frankentrina(z8b TX)

I have had a lot of experience with this tree. We ahd several growing thru the fence in Houston...or rather the fence was growing thru the middle of the tree. Yes, they are pretty, and make great shade and are fast growing. But the seed pods are curly and sharp and fall all over the ground, then the seeds fall later on...little hard black seeds, which are fun for kids to play with but then they start sprouting everywhere. They only stay on the branches for a while until that white coating is gone. Both us and our neighbors tried numerous times to chop down, burn and poison them, and finally managed to kill them I think. Not only are they invasive and pop up everywhere, but other plants tend to not do well underneath them. I have one here which I dont mind, as it is not close enough to the fence to grow into it, and there are no others growing yet, i can pull up new seedlings (and have to often from my flowerbeds) but the grass does not want to grow very good underneath it, and there are huge bare spots, and I've had a hard time finding plants that will grow in the flowerbed under it. Liriope and wandering jew seems to be doing fine so far. I've got these seeds all over the yard and am fixing to have a whole 'nother crop of them if anyone wants them. I wish they werent so crappy here. They make nice fall colors and its a nice cool shade tree.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 8:53AM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

I understand when they were first introduced here a lot of people were very enthusiastic. As has already been said, they grow very fast, and they are one of the few things to color in the fall (some better than others). They develop a nice kind of gnarly aged-looking trunk quickly. And then they started seeding all over. I think the farmers were the first to realize how badly they were taking over when they had to fight them in their fields. They take over from the native plants in any wild or not well maintained area. As noted above they are very hard to kill out, partly because they have no natural enemies here. We've been here about twenty-five years and the difference is really amazing. I come from a part of the world (PNW) where fall color is almost taken for granted (by blind non-gardeners anyway!) and the lack of it here was startling. Well, there is no longer a lack, thanks to what is often called 'chicken trees'. Don't plant them! You can't control them! Birds eat the berries and drop them all over--not just in your yard where you can pull the seedlings. Terrible trees!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2004 at 6:39PM
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Does anyone know of an area (I live in Irving, Texas) where Tallow has invaded and taken over an area, possibly there for 10 years or more? I am interested in studying the speed of spread and growth of this species by locating the "origin" of a grove and then statistically evaluate a speed of spread vector. The best area would be one that has not yet been affected by eradication efforts.

Thank you,

Walt Clayton

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 3:12AM
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I see this thread began in 2002 but Dec of 2011 Houston Chronicle newspaper issued this
ALSO, Galveston came up for me "invasive" plants & animals for us in Texas. I am about 3 and a half hours away from Galveston, an hour to the East of Houston, and was researching tallow trees to see if I could sell mine.
Imagine my shock when I saw what these trees do to our native plants and trees, so I am in the process of uprooting mine and burning them off to save our natural habitat.
Here is a great site for information for Texans and on "invasive" plants and trees, so that Texas stays Texas.
(P.S. They will mail you 2 booklets free, phone them, it is on invasive plants and invasive animals. I asked for mine today.)
Hope the 2 sites help inform Texans and also others considering plants and trees now illegal (yes, illegal to plant here) and invasive in more than just our location.

Here is a link that might be useful: Galveston and beyond in Texas - Invasive and Illegal plants

    Bookmark   October 27, 2014 at 6:01PM
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In researching tallows, I found this site, glad I did. And this was my first posting. I felt to sign up just to inform those who knew about as much as I did about tallows, which was nothing, really.
I am already seeing how this site may help me to find what I am looking for, edible pomegranate trees for our area to plant, and old, old tomatoes which seem to taste better than the in-store type. Also old rose bushes, I am remembering a dark purple rose of over 50 years ago my daddy planted locally. He died right before my 4th birthday and I would love to have another of those... so yes, Roses from the 50's and 60's and tomatoes and pomegranate trees that have done well here in South East Texas.
Those are my gardening loves. Glad to be a part of the gardenweb family now.
I added this after I allowed in preferences to get emails and allow folks to contact me.
This posting was sent to make sure all that was in place, and introduce myself as a new member.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2014 at 6:15PM
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