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Evodia danielii: Korean Evodia1

Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson 2


Korean Evodia is a little-known but highly desirable small, deciduous tree, often seen at 15 to 25 feet high with an equal or greater spread but is capable of reaching 50 feet in height. Specimens reaching 50 feet tall are rare. The pinnately compound, dark green leaves cast a light shade below the tree and remain attractive and disease-free throughout the summer. The leaves often drop in autumn while still green, though some trees have been known to provide a display of clear yellow fall foliage. In early summer, many showy, flat-topped flower clusters appear, the white, fragrant blossoms attracting a multitude of bees. Following this gorgeous display of blooms is the production of ornamental, red to black fruits.

Figure 1. Middle-aged Evodia danielii: Korean Evodia
Figure 1.  Middle-aged Evodia danielii: Korean Evodia
Credit: Ed Gilman

General Information

Scientific name: Evodia danielii
Pronunciation: ee-VOE-dee-uh dan-ee-ELL-ee-eye
Common name(s): Korean Evodia, Bebe Tree
Family: Rutaceae
USDA hardiness zones: 4A through 8A (Fig. 2)
Origin: not native to North America
Invasive potential: little invasive potential
Uses: highway median; specimen; shade; deck or patio; parking lot island < 100 sq ft; parking lot island 100-200 sq ft; parking lot island > 200 sq ft; tree lawn 3-4 feet wide; tree lawn 4-6 feet wide; tree lawn > 6 ft wide; street without sidewalk
Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the tree

Figure 2. Range
Figure 2.  Range


Height: 15 to 25 feet
Spread: 25 to 30 feet
Crown uniformity: irregular
Crown shape: spreading, round
Crown density: moderate
Growth rate: slow
Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite (Fig. 3)
Leaf type: odd-pinnately compound
Leaf margin: crenate
Leaf shape: oblong, ovate
Leaf venation: pinnate
Leaf type and persistence: deciduous
Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: yellow
Fall characteristic: showy
Figure 3. Foliage
Figure 3.  Foliage


Flower color: white/cream/gray
Flower characteristics: very showy


Fruit shape: round
Fruit length: less than .5 inch
Fruit covering: dry or hard
Fruit color: red, black
Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches droop; showy; typically multi-trunked; thorns
Pruning requirement: needed for strong structure
Breakage: susceptible to breakage
Current year twig color: brown, gray
Current year twig thickness: medium, thick
Wood specific gravity: unknown


Light requirement: full sun
Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; acidic; alkaline; well-drained
Drought tolerance: high
Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate


Roots: not a problem
Winter interest: yes
Outstanding tree: yes
Ozone sensitivity: unknown
Verticillium wilt susceptibility: unknown
Pest resistance: free of serious pests and diseases

Use and Management

Evodia should be grown and used more often as a small tree, its mound-shaped crown providing shade for small areas. Well-suited for patios and other small areas, including residences, Evodia deserves to be tried more as an urban tree. It could be suited for planting close to power and telephone lines since height-increase slows down with age giving way to more horizontal growth. The tree is often seen 25 feet tall spreading 25 to 35 feet with several large-diameter branches dominating the crown. These are covered with smooth grey bark and originate close to the ground (three to five feet from the ground) on unpruned trees and can form a beautiful multi-trunked effect, if desired. The trees can be pruned to develop a clear trunk which would be suited for planting close to the curb along the street or parking lot.

According to one report, the wood is brittle and subject to storm damage, and the trees may be relatively short-lived, 15 to 40-years. I have found this to be related to embedded bark between major limbs or trunks. Dr. Michael Dirr of the University of Georgia has observed many trees throughout the south which appear to be doing fine. Prune so that main branches remain less than half the diameter of the trunk to perhaps increase longevity by reducing branch breakage.

Korean Evodia should be grown in full sun on moist but well-drained, fertile soil. It tolerates drought once established and will grow nicely in poor soil, including moderately-drained clay. Propagation is by seed or cuttings.

Pests and Diseases

No pests or diseases are of major concern. Watch where the tree is located since bees are attracted to the flowers in great numbers.


1. This document is ENH401, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November1993. Revised December 2006. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at
2. Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Agricultural Engineering Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Publication #ENH401

Release Date:June 25, 2014

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