SelecTree: Tree Detail

Trema orientalis

Trema orientalis Trema orientalis Trema orientalis Trema orientalis

Photo Locations: Hilo, HI

General Notes

This plant is weedy. We do not recommend planting it in Hawai’i.

Gunpowder tree or charcoal tree, which was used for making charcoal for gunpowder, is native throughout the old world tropics and weedy on most major Hawaiian Islands. It is rarely cultivated, and further planting should be avoided. The trees are fast-growing, with spreading branches that droop at the tips, reminiscent of elms, which are related. Trema orientalis has a HPWRA (Hawai'i Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score of 10 (High Risk).

Native to Southern China, Kyushu, and the Ryukyu Islands.

Family: Cannabaceae


Trema africana
Celtis orientalis

Additional Common Names


Tree Characteristics

Erect or Weeping with a High Canopy.

Rounded Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 75 - 100 feet.

Growth Rate: 36 Inches per Year.

Leaves Lanceolate to Ovate, Bluish Green or Silver or Gray Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Inconspicuous. green.. Has separate male and female reproductive parts on the same tree (monoecious).

Prolific, Orange, Red or Black Drupe, Very Small (Under 0.25 inches).

Bark Gray to Brown, Rough or Smooth.

Shading Capacity Rated as Moderately Low in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Dry Fruit.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones H1, H2.

USDA Hardiness Zones 10 - 11.

Exposure Full Sun to Full Shade.

Wet to Dry Soil.

Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.

Acidic to Alkaline Soil pH.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

None Known Health Hazard.

Special Uses & Values

Landscape Ornamental, Street Tree.

Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Trema orientalis Tree Record." 1995-2020. Aug 14, 2020.
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This tree is not part of the SelecTree Nursery Connection. If you would like to see this tree listed, or know of a nursery that sells it, please contact us at