Chinese Tallow

About to cut down large Chinese Tallow Tree that did not make it through latest drought.

Is it good firewood? I know it is not the best but is it adequate from resin, smell, etc. standpoint? In Texas, not worried about heating value.


To be honest, I'm not familiar with the Chinese Tallow Tree as it does not grow in my area.

However, I've done some research and it makes poor firewood from a heating quality standpoint.

I have heard some stories about allergic reactions that have happened as a result of cutting down these trees from the sap. Most reactions have only been minor, but apparently the sap can cause serious damage when it gets into the eye.

My recommendation is to stay away from this species for all purposes. It's a highly invasive species that shouldn't be planted and mostly just causes a lot of problems.

Good luck and if anyone else has any experience with Chinese Tallow Tree, please add to this article by posting a comment.


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Oct 26, 2015
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Jun 08, 2012
Tallow Trees AKA Chinese tallow NEW
by: Anonymous

YES!! Alot of Texans use Tallow wood to burn in fireplaces due to its pleasant smell and low ash.Never heard ANYTHING bad about it.....AND it is in mass supply.

Oct 25, 2010
Extension Office Said No Go on Chinse Tallow
by: Anonymous

A neighbor cut one down last month. They are consider an invasive in Florida. I got a few logs to split. Never burned it before, so called our extension office to see if there's any problem. They said they do not recommend burning inside. The sap is toxic. Outside should be ok.

Editor's Note

Thanks for the insight on this but I disagree with the Extension office on one very important point. Burning the wood outside is more dangerous than burning it indoors. In an efficient wood burning setup indoors, the smoke will only exit out the chimney, whereas burning it outside will have smoke going all over the place depending on which way the wind is blowing making it far more likely to be exposed to the smoke.

The bottom line with chinese tallow is that the sap is bad news. The most dangerous part about it is handling the wood during processing and getting sap in your eyes. It's best just to avoid the wood if possible, but if you do decide to burn it, make sure that you are safe about burning and handling it.

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