Chinese celtis

Native to Asia, Chinese celtis is a fast-growing, deciduous tree. It forms dense infestations along creekbanks and prevents native riparian vegetation from regenerating. It also sucks up water and can affect populations of native animals through habitat destruction.

Chinese celtis has naturalised throughout most of South East Queensland.

You must manage the impacts of Chinese celtis on your land.

You must not give away, sell or release Chinese celtis into the environment.

Scientific name

Celtis sinensis


  • Deciduous tree up to 20m tall.
  • Bark is smooth, silver-grey.
  • Leaves are oval, dark green, glossy, with paler underside and pronounced veins, 4–7cm long.
  • Berries are small, orange, 7–8mm in diameter.


  • Grows in clay soils associated with creek flats and gullies.
  • Forms dense infestations along riverbanks.


  • Visit Weeds Australia and click on the distribution tab to access the distribution map.

Life cycle

  • Flowers in spring.
  • Produces thousands of berries.

Affected animals

  • Native animals



  • Forms dense infestations and prevents regeneration of native riparian vegetation.
  • Destroys habitats of native animals.

How it is spread

  • Seeds spread by birds, flying foxes and water.


Physical control

  • Remove when small.
  • Hand-pull or dig out small seedlings.
  • Combine dozing, burning and controlled grazing for large infestations.

Herbicide control

  • Herbicides are effective for larger plants.

Read the Chinese celtis fact sheet (PDF, 1.2MB) for herbicide control and application rates.

Biological control

  • No known biological control agents.

Legal requirements

  • Chinese celtis is a category 3 restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
  • You must not give away, sell or release Chinese celtis into the environment. Penalties may apply.
  • You must take all reasonable and practical measures to minimise the biosecurity risks associated with dealing with Chinese celtis under your control. This is called a general biosecurity obligation (GBO).
  • At a local level, each local government agency must have a biosecurity plan that covers invasive plants in its area. This plan may include actions to be taken on Chinese celtis. Some of these actions may be required under local laws. Contact your local council for more information.

Further information