Chinese tallow tree is a fast-growing deciduous tree with broad leaves and spikes of greenish-yellow flowers without petals. Tallow tree was brought to the US from Asia for the solid fat found in the tree’s seeds that are used medicinally and to make candles, soap, cloth dressing and fuel.
How does it spread?
Chinese tallow tree reproduces by seed. Flowing water, birds and other animals disperse the seed of this tree, creating new invasions.
Where would I find it?
Chinese tallow tree is a popular ornamental tree, and has only recently been found invading streamside and wetland areas in California. It has spread rapidly in those areas.
What problems does it cause?
When Chinese tallow tree escapes cultivation, it is capable of form dense stands that crowd out native vegetation. Chinese tallow tree leaf litter decomposes quickly and significantly alters the composition of soil nutrients in invaded areas.