Chinese Tallow (Popcorn tree)

Sapium sebiferum

Mechanical/Physical Control Options

Chinese tallow can be very difficult to control physically because it will regrow from the roots and from seeds.

Biological Control Options

At this time there is no available biological control for Chinese tallow.

Chemical Control Options

The active ingredients that have been successful in treating Chinese tallow that have aquatic registrations (other terrestrial registered herbicides may work well but cannot be used in aquatic sites) include glyphosate (G), triclopyr (E), imazamox (E), and imazapyr (E).  E = excellent, G = good

Rodeo, Aquamaster, Eraser AQ, Touchdown Pro, and AquaNeat are liquid glyphosate formulations and have been effective on Chinese tallow in cut-stump treatments.  Cut-stump involves cutting the tree off near the base and then applying concentrated glyphosate (>50% best) to the stump immediately.  These compounds are broad spectrum, systemic herbicides. Systemic herbicides are absorbed and move within the plant to the site of action. Systemic herbicides tend to act more slowly than contact herbicides.

 

Renovate is a liquid triclopyr formulation that is effective on Chinese tallow. It is a selective broadleaf, systemic herbicide.  Spraying foliage is effective on small trees in the fall but cut-stump or basal bark treatments are usually more effective and can be applied anytime.  Systemic herbicides are absorbed and move within the plant to the site of action. Systemic herbicides tend to act more slowly than contact herbicides. An aquatically registered surfactant (see the label) will improve the effectiveness of triclopyr if spray on foliage.

 

Clearcast is a liquid imazamox formulation that has shown to be very effective on Chinese tallow but has no residual soil activity.  It is a broad spectrum, systemic herbicide but often will not harm other hardwood trees if applied properly.  Systemic herbicides are absorbed and move within the plant to the site of action. Systemic herbicides tend to act more slowly than contact herbicides. An aquatically registered surfactant (see the label) is needed for application.

 

Habitat contains the active ingredient, imazapyr and has been effective as a foliar spray on Chinese tallow and has residual soil activity to retard seed germination for a period of time.  Habitat is very toxic to hardwood trees.  Habitat is a systemic herbicide that is effective on post-emergent floating and emergent aquatic vegetation. Imazapyr is effective at low-volume rates and does not contain heavy metals, organochlorides or phosphates, making it safe to humans and livestock. Habitat requires the use of a spray adjuvant when applying on post-emergent vegetation.

Many aquatically registered herbicides have water use restrictions.  For General Water Use Restrictions click here.

To see the labels for these products click on the name.  Always read and follow all label directions. Check label for specific water use restrictions.

Cultivation Options

While Chinese tallow is a cultivated ornamental it should not be planted in areas where it could spread into non-urban environments.