The Q&A Archives: How messy is a Chinese Pistache Tree ?

Question: Love the look of this tree but worry that the fruitlike berries will be very messy or stain the patio nearby if I plant one... Also, it seems as though the female is the one to get since the male has more allergenic properties? How do you even tell which one you're buying? Would love your opinion about these matters.

Answer: Chines Pistache (Pistacia chinesis) is a deciduous tree so it will drop its leaves in the fall after turning a scarlet color (fall color is one of its attributes). So, there will be leaves to rake at the end of each season. Female trees produce red fruit which ripens to black. Birds love these berries but if any are left and they drop to the ground, they are not fleshy and shouldn't stain patios or sidewalks. In fact, Sunset Western Garden Book recommends this small tree for streetside, patio or garden planting. Male trees produce the pollen that can aggrevate allergies, so plant a female tree if possible. Monrovia grows these trees from seed so there's no way of knowing whether your tree will be male or female until it is mature enough to flower and produce fruit. These trees are generally purchased for their reliable fall color, not for their gender. Hope this information is helpful!

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