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Old 09-21-2012, 09:45 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,056 posts, read 1,318,673 times
Reputation: 1007
Default Chinaberry ANd Chinese Tallow Trees

Back when I was a kid in the 1950s, many of the new houses in our Dellview neighborhood had Chinese Tallow and Chinaberry trees planted in the front and back yards. I LOVED those trees as a kid (the chinaberries and tallow seeds made excellent slingshot ammo). They made great shade, and were fun to climb. When I bought my first house, I planted two Chinese Tallows. They grew quickly, and gave a lot of shade. I recently had my 61 year old Arizona Ash in my front yard cut down, and I have been told that Chinaberry, AND Chinese Tallows are now considered invasive species and are no longer sold in Texas.

I think these environmentalists aregoing overboard. I want a Chinese Tallow. I guess I'll have to find one of the "many" wild trees, dig it up, and plant it since I can't buy one anymore.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:57 PM
Status: "Character is what you do when no one is looking..." (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
21,014 posts, read 22,187,467 times
Reputation: 49931
I know how you feel, I like those trees too, however:
“As of January 6, 2005, it is unlawful to sell, distribute, or import any live form of this plant into the State of Texas!”

Do NOT Plant Chinese Tallows (it’s illegal) | The Lazy Gardener | a Chron.com blog
^^^ and this article explains why.

so , you might get a plant from a friend, but you are not going to find any place that sells it.


Each and every part of the Texas Umbrella ( Chinaberry ) tree is poisonous. Leaves, bark, berries and seeds. Eating as few as 6 berries can result in death. Be very minful of this if you have young children around the house. Even birds that eat too many seeds have been known to become paralyzed.

Is this a Chinaberry??

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Last edited by elnina; 09-21-2012 at 10:10 PM..
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Houston
448 posts, read 259,899 times
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Thanks for that link to the Chronicle article! Growing up in the Houston area, I am quite familiar with the Chinese Tallow. In the 50s, my grandparents' house in Brazoria County (in the coastal prairie south of here) had several mature specimens. I think many people planted or otherwise encouraged them because they are fast growers, as well as for their fall colors (which are modest by northern states' standards).

I always assumed that the Chinaberry was the same plant, but the one pictured at the end of the Chronicle article looks quite different. Rather nice purple flowers, with leaves that resemble those of a pecan tree. Which is rather different from the leaves on the berry-bearing tree in your photo. The yellow leaves in the background of your photo might be a better match, but I think they from a different tree than the one with the berries.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:46 PM
Status: "Character is what you do when no one is looking..." (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
21,014 posts, read 22,187,467 times
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Yeah, I was not sure myself. It indeed looks quite different...
Thank you for your input
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:34 AM
 
Location: S.A., Texas ~ Home of the HUD secretary farm~
98,535 posts, read 25,062,151 times
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China berry is very dense and makes great shade trees. We used the green berries for ammo in slingshots or just coffee cans full for throwing. We never got poisoned. We need shade trees not the crap being passed out at events by the county or agricultural agencies.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:52 AM
Status: "Character is what you do when no one is looking..." (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
21,014 posts, read 22,187,467 times
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True, most around are sorry looking trees...
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Tejas
289 posts, read 368,164 times
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We had them around when I grew up as well. The berries stink, and the trees have large sections which die and drop. The trees generally take on a diseased appearance after a short time.

As for the environmentalists, I can attest they are absolutely correct. I found large groves of them along Salado Creek where the creek had deposited them. I have seen them grow up extremely tall, thin with the only foliage at the very top in a struggle to compete for light with literally hundreds of the trees in just a small 1/2 acre area. I've seen this from inside loop 410 all the way to north of Thousand Oaks.

If you want something unusual, check out a Chinese Parasol. They grow tall, have an interesting green bark and don't rot. The foliage consists of large leaves which gently drape, giving it its name. I've no idea if they are considered invasive though.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:43 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
5,599 posts, read 5,994,053 times
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I didn't know the Chinaberry was poisonous, but it was a very messy tree, always dropping junk into the yard.

My favorites from childhood are still around, the Texas Mountain Laurel (with those little red berries that you scratch on the ground, then press on your friend's arm to burn them), and Chinese Plum or Loquat, which makes edible yellow fruit.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:37 PM
 
Location: S.A., Texas ~ Home of the HUD secretary farm~
98,535 posts, read 25,062,151 times
Reputation: 133996
Pecan trees are messy and tough to keep new sprouts cleared out. With the price of pecans I'll take the minuses.. Mountain Laurels are great as are Chinese Plum but those aren't really shade trees. Too small to be good for shade usually.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:17 AM
Status: "Back in Texas" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: San Antonio Texas
10,551 posts, read 9,160,993 times
Reputation: 4667
Quote:
Originally Posted by outafocus View Post
Back when I was a kid in the 1950s, many of the new houses in our Dellview neighborhood had Chinese Tallow and Chinaberry trees planted in the front and back yards. I LOVED those trees as a kid (the chinaberries and tallow seeds made excellent slingshot ammo). They made great shade, and were fun to climb. When I bought my first house, I planted two Chinese Tallows. They grew quickly, and gave a lot of shade. I recently had my 61 year old Arizona Ash in my front yard cut down, and I have been told that Chinaberry, AND Chinese Tallows are now considered invasive species and are no longer sold in Texas.

I think these environmentalists aregoing overboard. I want a Chinese Tallow. I guess I'll have to find one of the "many" wild trees, dig it up, and plant it since I can't buy one anymore.
You've got to be kidding me!!! I'm so sorry. I also enjoyed those chinese tallow trees when I was a kid. If true, it's quite the bummer that they're not sold anymore.
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