How to Remove a Carrotwood Tree


Carrotwood (Cupaniopsis anacardiodes) is an invasive plant found in Florida in marshes, beach dunes, mangrove and cypress swamps and other habitats. Carrotwood is salt-tolerant and is especially threatening to important mangrove ecosystems. Although it provides shade and wildlife habit in yards, it crowds out native species. Property owners or managers can help control this invasive by properly removing the tree. Several steps should be taken to ensure that the problem tree is removed and there is no opportunity for regeneration by sprout or seed.

Things You'll Need

  • Chainsaw or handsaw
  • Gloves and safety gear
  • Herbicide
  • Identify the tree as carrotwood. Carrotwood is an evergreen that generally has a single trunk that grows to 35 feet tall. It has gray outer bark and often has an orange inner bark. There are four to 12 shiny yellowish-green leaflets on a leaf up to 8 inches long and 3 inches wide. the tree has numerous white to greenish-yellow flowers that mature into fruit that is a woody capsule 1 inch across with three distinct, ridged segments.

  • Remove the tree with a chainsaw or handsaw, if tree size permits, using safety gloves and proper safety equipment. If the tree is very large, contact a professional tree removal service. The final cut on the trunk should be as close to the ground and level as possible.

  • Apply an herbicide to the stump. If an herbicide is not applied, the carrotwood will persist by re-sprouting. Use a herbicide that contains triclopyr amine or glyphosate. Apply the herbicide as soon as possible after cutting the tree and cover the entire stump, concentrating particularly on the cambium, the thin layer of tissue just inside the bark. Follow instructions on the herbicide label. Some herbicides may require dilution or use with a penetrating oil.

  • Dispose of any carrotwood seeds. If the tree was bearing mature sees when it was cut, make sure the material is not removed to an area where the seeds may sprout. Either dispose of the seeds on-site where they can be monitored, or incinerate them.

  • Monitor the area around where the tree was removed and continually pull any seedlings by hand before they reach maturity and bear seeds.

  • Replace the carrotwood with a noninvasive species that offers the same functions. Several species of tree offer similar shade and wildlife value; local extension agents or nature groups often hold plant or tree sales or can offer guidance.

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