Schinus molle or S. terebinthifolia
Widely planted as ornamental trees, both California peppertree and Brazilian peppertree are non-native species that are considered invasive weeds in many areas of the U.S. Bright red berries are spread by birds and small mammals and can displace native plants under certain conditions. Both species produce pinnately compound leaves, but the California peppertree leaflets are generally thinner and more pointed at the tips. The California pepper also tends to have a more weeping overall form.
Culture for Peppertree
Performs well on a range of soil types and pH, and is fairly drought tolerant. Root collar areas should be kept exposed as this species is susceptible to root and trunk decay caused by Armillaria, Ganoderma, and other decay fungi. In planting beds, volunteer seedling sprouts should be pulled to avoid unchecked spread.
Concerns about Peppertree
The most damaging and noticeable insect pest of peppertrees is the peppertree psyllid, a small sucking insect that causes leaf distortion and defoliation. Peppertrees are also commonly damaged by sapsucker birds, and are prone to structural root or basal trunk decay in older specimen
Management Practices for Peppertree
The peppertree psyllid can easily be managed with systemic treatment options. over watering can lead to decay, root disease, or over-extended weak branches that can fail and disfigure the overall form. This species is a good candidate for plant growth regulation, particularly where it receives more irrigation than needed.