Recently, I received an email from Mr. Bob Eaves, the President of the SW LA Beekeepers Association asking about the “bee-bee tree” and its suitability for Louisiana.
After learning about this tree, I asked LSU AgCenter Extension Forester, Dr. Hallie Dozier, about the bee-bee trees’ invasiveness because Dr. Hallie works a lot in the area of non-native, nuisance plants. She sent this message for this blog:
“It [bee-bee tree] looks like a smallish, easy to grow tree. Few pests, not picky about pH (but likes consistently moist, well-drained soil). I cannot find examples of escape, and Gilman at UF says “little invasive potential.” Everything I read backs that up, with one exception (see reference below). It has most of the characteristics of other invaders – short-lived, fast growth, heavy fruiter, bird dispersed, not too picky about soil, other than moisture mentioned above. Like many other of our invaders, it also seems to have potential for medical use.
Having said that, even though it’s been here a while (since early 1900s), I don’t know how it performs in different areas. I am assuming that someone wants to plant it to support apicultural efforts in your area? Keep in mind that planting anything non-native probably carries some risk, especially if you are talking about group (plantation, orchard) plantings.
Here is Gilman’s assessment: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st242.
And the one thing I could find related to invasiveness or escape from cultivation: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/mbot/0497763.0043.105?rgn=main;view=fullt.
Bottom line: if you recommend it, do so with a pound of salt and caveats that folks should keep a close eye on it.
Hope this helps!”
Yes, Dr. Hallie, your information is helpful. Thanks much!!