Tooning in


Earlier this month while walking near the north entrance of Mt Tabor Park, I found a pair of these street trees near SE Yamhill on SE 69th Ave.


I think this must be Toona sinensis ‘Flamingo,’ which I know only from descriptions and images on the Oregon State University landscape website, and from Cistus.


The pink and pale yellow at the top look especially striking against the backdrop of evergreens in the park beyond.


Great colors – the yellow leaflets and the red rachis and veins.  Only the lowest leaves had turned color on the day I took these photos, November 19.


Here’s an alternative for anyone who feels reluctant to get rid of their weedy tree of heaven, Ailanthus altissima.  It has similar tropical-looking leaves, and good ornamental value, and a reportedly fast growth rate.  But not easy to come by, I suppose — Cistus might be the only local source.

Chinese Toon, or Chinese Mahogany, Toona sinensis, details from Oregon State University:

  • Native to China and SE Asia
  • USDA Zones 5 to 11
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree to 30 feet, spreads by suckers
  • Sun or partial shade, adaptable to many soil types
  • Cream colored summer flowers in terminal clusters
  • Leaves, shoots, fruits and bark used in cooking and traditional Chinese medicine
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5 Responses to Tooning in

  1. I live right by there and know where these are planted. I love the garden redesign they’ve been doing and was wondering about these recently. Thanks!

  2. At first glance I thought it was Ailanthus altissima, but of course it’s actually much more beautiful. Good find!

  3. Ricki Grady says:

    Hmmm…sounds like a walk in Mt Tabor park is in order.

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