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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - July 21, 2006

From: Livingston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native invasive tungoil tree
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I believe I have a tungoil tree growing in my yard. How do I care for it and when would be the best time to move it. It is about 6 foot tall and has about 12 seed (fruit) on it. Thanks.

ANSWER:

There are two trees that are frequently called tungoil or tung trees. Both were introduced from Asia and neither are native to North America. First, there is tungoil tree or Airy-Shaw (Vernicia fordii, formerly Aleuritis fordii), a native of China and on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's List of Invasive Species. The other tree sometimes called tungoil or tung tree is also known as Chinese parasoltree (Firmiana simplex). It is listed as invasive in the South Carolina EPPC Non-Native Invasive Plant Species List.

Whichever one you have, we would discourage you from cultivating the tree in your landscape since either escape and naturalize and have the potential to become invasive.

 

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