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Texas Gulf Region Cooperative Weed Management Area

The Texas Gulf Coast Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) was established in 2014 by the City of Port Aransas and initial partners the Texas A&M Forest Service and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The mission of this CWMA is to address invasive Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolious) from Port O'Connor to Packery Channel on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The Texas Gulf Region CWMA is a voluntary network of public and private stakeholders that are concerned with the management of Brazilian peppertree. The CWMA seeks to prevent the spread and movement of the species by advocating for cooperative control amongst willing landowners and managers.

What is the Issue?

Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolious) is a non-native, invasive species in Texas. It is native to Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. It was introduced in the 1800s in Florida as a landscape ornamental prior to be recognized as being a nuisance weed in the 1950s. Once sold as an ornamental in Texas, its importation, sale and distribution are now prohibited in Texas and several other states. The species was first reported in 2003 by trained citizen scientists, it has now spread along the entire Texas Coastline. To view submitted observations please click here.

Brazilian peppertree invades disturbed areas such as fallow fields, ditches, drained wetlands and roadsides. As infestations grow, they quickly form dense thickets, shading out native grasses, shrubs, and taking over native grasslands, tidal flats and other habitats. These thickets exclude most other vegetation forming mono-cultural landscapes which are unattractive to native wildlife. This species is considered one of the greatest threats to biodiversity for its dramatic effect on both plant and animal communities.

Who We Are

We are a collective group of local, county, state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, university researchers and community representatives who have come together to fight Brazilian peppertree on Texas' Gulf Coast. The CWMA serves Aransas, Calhoun and Nueces Counties.
For a complete list of cooperators, please click here.

Texas Gulf Region CWMA Kick-off Meeting Participants

What is the CWMA doing?

Education and Outreach
Raising awareness of Brazilian peppertree impacts to our landscapes and sensitive coastal habitats is a main priority of the CWMA. The group regularly hosts public open houses and participates in community events to raise Brazilian peppertree awareness.

CWMA Door-to-Door Community Outreach Event

Get Involved!

To get involved in the fight against Brazilian peppertree, attend the next meeting or join the next community workday please email

Upcoming CWMA Events:

February 20-23, 2020 - Whooping Crane Festival
February 24, 2022- Meeting and Brazilian peppertree removal workday, Port Aransas
February 18, 2020 - Work party
October 23, 2019 - Work party
February 21-24, 2019 - Whooping Crane Festival
February 20, 2019 - Chainsaw Operation workshop
February 19, 2019 - Invaders of Texas citizen science training workshop
October 22, 2018 - Work party
February 22-25, 2018 - Whooping Crane Festival
February 21, 2018 - Work party
February 23-27, 2017 - Whooping Crane Festival
February 22, 2017 - Work party
February 20, 2017 - Tree Safety and Tree Planting workshops
November 8, 2016 - Work party
October 5, 2016 - Work party
February 26-28, 2016 - Whooping Crane Festival
February 24, 2016 - Work party
October 1, 2015 - Work party
September 30, 2015 - Eat the Invasives
February 19-22, 2015 - Whooping Crane Festival
February 17, 2015 - Mustang Island State Park Workday
October 2, 2014 - Informational Open House, Flyer
October 1, 2014 - CWMA Neighborhood Outreach
July 17, 2014 - Invaders of Texas Citizen Scientist Workshop
July 16, 2014 - CWMA Member Workday
June 7, 2014 - World Ocean's Day at UT Marine Science Institute
April 23-24, 2014 - Texas Bays and Estuaries Meeting
April 12, 2014 - Earth Day Bay Day
February 25, 2014 - Informational Open House
February 26, 2014 - Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference
February 28, 2014 - Brazilian Peppertree Biology & Management Field Tour

CWMA Community Open House Event

Establishing Baseline Distribution Data
To better understand the distribution of Brazilian peppertree, the CWMA has established and mapped the baseline distribution of peppertrees. We are currently (2020) working on a project with a graduate student to use drone and AI technology to create an updated map of the distribution of peppertree in the Port Aransas Nature Preserves.
To view observations of peppertrees submitted by volunteer Invaders of Texas citizen scientists, please click here.

Control Treatments
The CWMA has been developing and implementing treatment projects to address Brazilian peppertree within the area. Treatment locations will be determined using collected observation data and treated using identified best management practices.

Upcoming Control Events:

February 24, 2022- Brazilian peppertree removal workday, Port Aransas

Photo: Kylee N. Kleiner, Twisted trunk of Brazilian peppertree.

April 2021- Brazilian peppertree removal workday, Port Aransas
Photo: Ashley Morgan-Olvera, Texas Gulf Region worker spraying herbicide on cut trunks of Brazilian pepper trees.

October 23, 2019 - Removing Brazilian peppertree in Port Aransas.

Photo: Dr. Hans Landel, Bird Johnson Wildflower Center/TIPPC.

Photo: Dr. Hans Landel, Bird Johnson Wildflower Center/TIPPC

February 19, 2015 - City of Port Aransas Right-of-Way Removal

Photo: Justin Bush, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

February 17, 2015 - Mustang Island State Park Workday

Photo: Kendal Keyes, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Photo: Nina Cardenas, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

February 8, 2015 - The City of Port Aransas and City of Port Aransas Volunteer Fire Department held a 56 acre prescribed burn at Charlie's Pasture Nature Preserve. The burn targeted Brazilian peppertrees and sought to promote native species.

Photos: Justin Bush, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

July 16, 2014 - The City of Port Aransas and Texas Gulf Region CWMA partners held a member workday to control Brazilian peppertree near highway 361. In the collaborative control event, 2 gross acres of Brazilian peppertree were removed.

Photo: Kendal Keyes, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Photo: Kendal Keyes, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

February 25, 2014 - At Charlie's Pasture Nature Preserve, over 75 community volunteers and agency cooperators worked together to control 48 gross acres of Brazilian peppertree. Texas A&M Forest Service saw crews fell peppertrees, which were removed by volunteers and loaded onto trailers to be chipped off-site.

Photo: Dr. Ron Billings, Texas A&M Forest Service

Photo: Dr. Ron Billings, Texas A&M Forest Service

Restoring the Landscape
In order to restore the landscape after removal of the Brazilian peppertree infestations, the CWMA is working to restore and enhance treated areas. When possible, native species will be introduced to replace the removed invasive trees.

Whenever possible, native species should be used in home landscapes. Potential non-invasive alternatives to Brazilian peppertree include:
Soapbush, Guajacum angustifolium
Prarie Acacia, Acaciella angustissima [formerly Acacia angustissima]
Guajillo, Senegalia berlandieri [formerly Acacia berlandieri]
Great leadtree, Leucaena pulverulenta

February 24, 2014 - Agenda, Minutes
April 24, 2014 - Agenda, Minutes
July 16, 2014 - Agenda, Minutes
October 2, 2014 - Agenda, Minutes
February 18, 2015 - Agenda, Minutes
September 29, 2015 – Agenda, Minutes
February 23, 2016 – Agenda, Minutes
October 6, 2016 – Agenda, Minutes
February 22, 2017 – Agenda, Minutes
October, 2017 – Cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey
February 21, 2018 – Agenda, Minutes
October 22, 2018 – Agenda, Minutes
February 21, 2019 – Agenda, Minutes
October 23, 2019 – Agenda, Minutes
February 18, 2020 – Agenda, Minutes

CWMA Resources

Brazilian Peppertree Control Factsheet
Brazilian Peppertree-free Yard Sign

Texas Gulf Region CWMA One Page Fact-sheet

Texas Gulf Coast CWMA Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
Port Aransas Nature Preserve Brazilian Pepper Control Plan

Brazilian Peppertree Identification Brochure
Texas Gulf Coast CWMA Informational PowerPoint Presentation, PDF
Texas A&M Forest Service Brazilian Peppertree Poster