Sapium sebiferum

Chinese Tallow

A highly ornamental small tree suitable for a variety of urban environments.

Features: Attractive autumn foliage. Shallow non-invasive root system. Versatility in streetscapes.
Applications: Streetscapes - islands and garden beds. Gardens. Perimeter lawn plantings. Lawn tree.
Description The Chinese Tallow is used extensively in WA streetscapes, often in carpark beds and perimeter islands where its shallow root system is ideal. The tree is a good option for bringing significant autumn colour to warmer areas - yellow, orange and ruby-red leaves - but climates with greater temperature variation will see the tree put on even more striking displays of colour. Though moderately drought-resistant, Chinese Tallow thrive in warmer climates with ample water. The tree and its sap is variously toxic to people and animals if consumed and the tree has invasive potential in native vegetation. However its suitability to urban environments, low water needs and versatility encourages responsible planting in appropriate sites. A moderate shade canopy lends itself to lawn plantings in sites where its shallow roots won't compete adversely with the turf.
Availability: Torbay, Champion Lakes : 45L
Mature height: 8-10
Mature spread: 4-5
Canopy: Irregularly oval, open canopy that offers moderate shade (seasonal).
Growth rate: Moderate to fast
Cautions: Invasive potential in suitable conditions!! Plant responsibly in lawns, garden beds or isolated streetscapes where its seeds are contained or removed and pose no threat to native vegetation. Sap is toxic.
Tolerances: Urban environments. Moderate drought tolerance.
Sun demands: Prefers full sun but tolerates partial shade
Soil demands: Range of well-drained soil types - acidic to mildly alkaline
Water demands: Low to moderate once established
Native or Exotic: Exotic
Leaf habit: Deciduous
Family: Euphorbiaceae
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Additional references and recommended reading:

Boland, D. J. et al (2006) "Forest Trees of Australia" 5th Edition, Australia: CSIRO Publishing.

Gilman, Edward F. (1997) "Trees for Urban and Suburban Landscapes", Florida: Delmar Cengage Learning.

Lorenz von Ehren "Von Ehren Manual" 2nd Edition, Hamburg.

Rushforth, K. (2001) "Easy Tree Guide, Britain and Europe", London: Aurum Press.

Urban Forests Ecosystems Institute, "SelecTree - A Tree Selection Guide" retrieved from 2009.

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