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Oct 6, 2013 7:39 PM CST
Name: Misti
Farrrr NW Houston (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas
Have you (or anyone here) used Chinese tallow in a hugel? We are saving some from cleaning out an area around our pond to use for a small hugelkultur.
Avatar for hazelnut
Oct 7, 2013 6:21 AM CST

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Misti: Oh Im glad I looked that up! I have some in my yard. Its an invasive and I think its the same as the locals call "popcorn tree". I plan to put mine in a new hugelkulture I am starting from small invasive trees I am cutting this fall. It doesn't seem to be poisonous--just invasive. I think making it into soil would be a good use for it.
Mine has an elephant-gray trunk about 8 to 9 inches that I was thinking about making into edging.
Oct 7, 2013 6:27 AM CST Admin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Southlake, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Garden Research Contributor Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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We have a lot of those in our bottomland, mostly along the edges where the forest meets the pasture. They are indeed invasive but I've never used them for anything. I do wonder how quickly they rot down. Being an invasive species and possibly a pioneer tree it might have quick rotting properties.
Avatar for hazelnut
Oct 7, 2013 7:16 AM CST

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For one thing I know it is persistent. Last year I decided to girdle it hoping that would kill it. I cut through about 3/4 of the way on one side of the tree and then about 5 inches above that I cut through from the opposite direction about 3/4 through the diameter of the tree (not the way to girdle--you should remove the cambiam layer all the way around the tree). But this spring the tree seemed to be invigorated by the surgery I had done.
Oct 7, 2013 8:16 AM CST
Name: Misti
Farrrr NW Houston (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas
Yes, they are very persistent! One of the first things we did when we moved in last summer was clear tallow trees from the pond edge, but not all of the stumps were removed. Of course they started resprouting and we're constantly battling them. RoundUp doesn't work, a harsher brush killer is needed but we haven't gone that far yet since we aren't keen to use many herbicides. Needless to say, we will likely always battle seedlings sprouting since the rest of the pond edge has tallow and unfortunately we don't own those properties to get in and work on cleaning them out.

I guess I'll let you know how tallow works when I get them installed.
Oct 7, 2013 8:51 PM CST
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Chinese Tallow is a soft, fast growing wood that I think would break down rather quickly. It does regrow from cut stump and would probably be a good candidate for coppicing.

Avatar for hazelnut
Oct 8, 2013 8:46 AM CST

Charter ATP Member
On my search, I noticed that it is a tab rooted tree. As I remember the recommendation is to cut it as close to the ground as possible, and apply herbicide with a paint brush just to the cambiam ring--the area just inside the bark. This is minimal use of herbicide (glyphosate) but I understand your reluctance to use it especially in a pond area.

Some people cover a short stump with a food can if you can find a big enough diameter one.

I would try to damage the cambiam as much as possible, because that is where the energy comes for the plant to send up a new shoot.
Avatar for lucy33
Apr 15, 2020 8:07 AM CST

Hi Misti and all, did anyone end up using Chinese Tallow for hugel? They are rampant at my house, and I'm hoping to put them to good use.
Thank You!
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