what is this obnoxious tree?

icanmakebreathMay 1, 2008

i have a tree in my front yard - i cant hate it too much because it's the only thing between my house and the western sun - but it's driving me NUTS!! i think either a chinese pistache or soapberry but all the googling has not mentioned my problem with it.

it is sending up baby trees EVERYWHERE. they are growing under my porch, in my flower bed, coming up through my shrubs. they stink when they break over and just mowing over them creates this big nutty root that will shoot out an arm so it will just grwo 3 inches over. honestly, i dug up one that was two feet long. ive got one coming up through my compacted gravel driveway!!!

come the nuclear winter, cockroaches will be eating their twinkies under the shade of these darned trees!!

what is this thing??

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prairiepaintbrush(RedOak, TX z7/8)

hehehe! Perhaps a photo is in order. I invite you to hate it so completely that you have it removed and plant a lovely tree that will be your true friend in its place. Life is too short to put up with wicked trees.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 10:22AM
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debndal(8a DFW, TX)

I've had a couple of Chinese Pistache planted for 24 years and they do not behave as you describe. They don't sucker from roots at all. Now we do get some seedling (alot of seedlings) pop up from the nuts, but they are easily mowed down, and don't try to regrow after the first mowing.
Chinese Pistache is a desirable tree (although anybody who decides they want one, be sure to get the MALE tree).

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 10:38AM
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Each year I pull out thousands of little hackberry trees.
They grow anywhere their leaves fall. (usually all over my gardens)

Check out images of hackberry trees.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 11:16AM
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Soapberry is said to send up suckers or reseed and form groves. That is what it's biologically designed to do. Its berries do resemble hackberry. Hackberry doesn't flower like the soapberry does, and it's leaves are generally toothed at the margins instead of smooth, at least the variety around College Station.

I've not noticed that hackberry seedlings...while there are hundreds, stink when mown over, though, so perhaps you're absolutely correct in assuming it's soapberry. Could you possibly add your zone to your signature that shows at the top? Helps a little bit. You don't have to say whereabouts you live, as zones are pretty broad, but it sometimes helps if people are trying to identify something as certain cultivars are more common in one place vs. another.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 11:54AM
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Let's see a picture! I have a huge wicked tree in our backyard that we also have yet to identify. In fact, I'm getting out there this weekend to kill all the babies. I thought it was a hackberry, but it sort of weeps, so who knows. I'll take a picture one of these days. Meanwhile, it provides nice shade to that side of the yard, and it's giving the wisteria something to climb.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 3:56PM
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Maybe a china berry tree.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 4:24PM
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necia(z7 N TX)

Google Roughleaf Dogwood. Mine really stinks like a wet dog! Also, it sends up shoots EVERYWHERE! LOL


    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 7:33PM
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I had a tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) that was truly the tree from hell. Cut the main tree down and hundreds of suckers came up as far away as 50 feet. It took me a couple of months of hand-treating every seedling with Round-up to get rid of it. Really nightmare-ish. Wonder if that's what you've got.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 9:45PM
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Ann_in_Houston(z9 Houston)

Could it be a Chinese Tallow? They grow up everywhere, and stink when I pull them up.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 10:23PM
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Have you tried applying a pre-emergent herbicide? It's designed to prevent germination. I don't know that they work on tree seeds, and of course they're not organic, so if you're into that aspect of gardening it ain't for you. But if you're like me and will throw everything science can produce at your garden problems, it's worth a shot.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 5:26PM
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rembetika(austin, TX)
    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 2:27PM
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dannab1(8. W. Tawakoni)

My bet is roughleaf dogwood also!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 2:47PM
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Smooth/Staghorn Sumac?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 12:17AM
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"although anybody who decides they want one (chinese pistachio), be sure to get the MALE tree"

Why? Whats wrong with a female chinese pistachio?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 11:25PM
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Female chinese pistache bear the fruit, which I think is beautiful. Some might say its messy or or unsightly. They are tiny little red nuts, 1/4" in size, similar to yaupon holly.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 11:31PM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

Without a picture or more information it is hard to determine what type of tree you have. What part of Texas do you live in?

On the Texas Invasives website, the Chinese pistache Pistacia chinensis is considered an invasive tree. Could it be another invasive, the Brazilian peppertree Schinus terebinthifolius? Also, as mentioned above, could it be the very invasive Chinese tallowtree Triadica sebifera.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 8:25AM
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gnabonnand(Zone 8 Texas)

My next door neighbor has two Chinese Pistache trees in his back yard. One of them is a female ... grrrr.

I pull up hundreds of seedlings in my yard from that tree of his. They pop up in my planting areas. I don't know if it's possible to be 100% sure that you are getting a male when you purchase a small tree at a nursery. But if you wind up with a female, you may be sorry you chose this tree.

Chinese Pistache is certainly well-adapted to our soil and climate here. I agree that in many ways it is a quality tree. But I think it should be pointed out to the prospective new buyer that the female tree is invasive and that the branching structure of these trees is not graceful, even when mature. But it is a durable and healthy tree for sure, and much, much better than most other "imported" trees.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 10:34AM
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