Chinaberry is most invasive in riparian zones or disturbed sites. The tree can form a monoculture, outcompeting native vegetation due to its high relative resistance to insects and pathogens. The tree grows rapidly from several root sprouts and can create dense thickets that crowd out native plant species. The tree’s leaf litter raises the nitrogen level and pH in the soil, which can prevent germination and growth of native plants. Chemicals in leaves inhibit insects’ digestion. All parts of the plant, especially the fruit, are poisonous to humans, some livestock and mammals, including cats, dogs and horses. Cattle and some birds can eat the berries without harm.
Chinaberry is on the Texas Dept. of Agriculture’s list of Invasive Plants which are illegal to sell, distribute or import into Texas.
For information on how to eradicate this invasive, view our statement on herbicide use and preferred alternatives for invasive plants.
You can replace this invasive plant with native alternatives. Here are some plants that make superior replacements.
Match your location on the Texas map to the color squares on the replacement plants below to find suitable replacements for your ecoregion.