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Sapium sebiferum/Chinese Tallow Tree

Sapium sebiferum / Sapium sebiferum
Overall image of a lawn tree in summer foliage
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Overall image of a lawn tree in summer foliage

Dependable autumn foliage color, a major feature of the tallow tree

Flower catkins in early spring

For about fifteen or so years the tallow can be a very effective shade tree

Spring catkins can shed a lot of pollen during the bloom period

Reliable fall color

Autumn color can vary considerably from tree to tree. Here a dark maroon foliage color

Close-up of a tallow tree canopy in full autumn color

White seeds in fall can have ornamental qualities

White seed covered with waxy substance

Trees are dormant in winter

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Scientific Name: Sapium sebiferum
Common Name: Chinese Tallow Tree
Plant Type: Deciduous
Leaf Type: Broadleaf
Hardiness Zone: 8, 9, 10, 11 Determine Your Zone
Height: 20-30 feet
Spread: 20- 30 feet
Bloom time: Spring
Flower color: Yellow
Fruit present: Fall, Winter
Fruit color: White
Light Exposure: Sun, Part Sun
Drainage: Well drained, Moist,
Rate of Growth: Fast
Water Requirement: Medium
Maintenance Level: Medium
Susceptible to insects
and diseases:
Landscape Categories: Deer Resistant-Tolerant Plants
Plants for Autumn Color
Plants for Xeriscapes
Plants that Attract Birds
Trees, Fruiting
Comments: Invasive species. Produces large number of seeds. Very reliable for fall color. Fall color varies from red to yellow to orange-red. This tree has escaped cultivation and is a problem species in commercial agriculture operations and forest lands.