What kind of trees are these?

jenel(8)November 29, 2011

Birds brought us a gift of two trees that we thought were both redbuds. (We're in Georgetown, north of Austin.) However, they didn't bloom this spring, and now in the fall, they don't even look like they're the same as each other. The bark is similar but not the same, and the leaves are different colors. Can anyone identify these trees?

My husband trimmed all the branches off the lower part of the trunks. Before he did that, they looked like big bushes.

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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I believe they are Chinese Tallow trees, also known as a Popcorn tree. It is considered to be highly invasive.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 11:22AM
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jenel(8)

Interesting. So you think they're both the same tree, even though the leaves and bark are different colors?

The invasive part is certainly possible, since we never planted them. However, they've been there a couple years, and we haven't had problems with an invasion.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 11:42AM
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bossjim1

A close up of the leaves would help, but they do look like tallow trees to me too. Tallow trees do not all turn colors in the fall at the same time, in fact some in a single grove won't turn at all while others will turn orange or red, or the leaves on some will just fall off while green.
Jim

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 3:28PM
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ginnypenny(East TXZ8)

The first one with yellow leaves is definitely Chinese Tallow. They are fabulous in the fall....but be assured they ARE invasive. However, they are easily pulled up when they first sprout. The real problem with them are the small seed pods that look like popcorn. The pods are hard and hurt to walk on them in bare feet!

The other does not look like a Chinese Tallow to me, but could be. I never noticed the trunk looking like that.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 6:28PM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

I agree with Jim! And they are highly invasive, especially in the eastern parts of Texas. Check out Chinese tallow trees for more informaiton.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 7:39PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

They are not long lived trees either. I had problems with the one dropping limbs on our porch. It was pretty in fall, but I was glad when it died. It was messy.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 11:39PM
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texan86

The one up close is definitely Chinese Tallow. The one futher away may be the same. I would recommend getting rid of them. The birds eat the seeds and then sprout up everywhere. Those trees are very invasive.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 2:18AM
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novascapes

Trash trees.
But they have good fall color and make for some good honey.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 6:27AM
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jenel(8)

Thank you, everyone! Sounds like that's what they are. The husband does pull up sprouts often. We looked them up online and saw that they grow up to 60 feet. That won't work in the spot where they are. But I leave all landscaping decisions to him.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 9:13AM
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merrybookwyrm

Chinese Tallow make good honey? That's interesting. Not knowing about honey here-- what's it like?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 7:14AM
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novascapes

"Chinese Tallow make good honey? That's interesting. Not knowing about honey here-- what's it like? "
It makes a dark honey and is usually blended with other honey or used as more of an industrial ingredient for a honey flavored sweetener.
Harris county (Houston area), Texas is the largest honey producing county in Texas. This is attributed to the Tallow trees gone wild on all the vacant investment property around Houston.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 7:05AM
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merrybookwyrm

Thank you for answering. The things you learn. Wow. I would never have thought of Harris County as a large honey producing area.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 10:16AM
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alameda/zone 8

I am in east Texas where they abound. I have a horse farm and it is war on tallow trees all year long. They come up everywhere, esp. fence rows and are nearly impossible to kill. Dont think you can cut them down and be done with them. You will have to keep putting something on the truck over and over to kill them. I get something from the feed store, cant remember the name. My yard man gave me some blue liquid that I put on full strength. I usually have to put that on several times before they finally succomb. They are lovely in fall on someone else's property, but I kill every one I can on my place. I understand that Teas Nursery in Houston brought them in from some other country as quick growing landscape trees.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 11:49AM
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ltcollins1949(9a TX)

You might find this article by Kathy Huber with the Houston Chronicle informative. Check out http://rockportherbies.blogspot.com/2011/11/did-ben-franklin-bring-invasive-tallow.html.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 4:19PM
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