tree-of-heaven
Ailanthus altissima (P. Mill.) Swingle


Overview

Appearance
Ailanthus altissima is a rapidly growing, typically small tree up to 80 ft. (24.4 m) in height and 6 ft. (1.8 m) in diameter. It has large leaf scars on the twigs.
Foliage
Foliage is one of the best identifying characteristics for this species. The leaves are pinnately compound and 1-4 ft. (0.3-1.2 m) in length with 10-41 leaflets. Ailanthus altissima resembles native sumac and hickory species, but it is easily distinguished by the glandular, notched base on each leaflet.
Flowers
Species is dioecious and flowering occurs in early summer when large clusters of yellow flowers develop above the foliage.
Fruit
Fruit produced on female plants are tan to reddish, single winged and can be wind or water-dispersed.
Ecological Threat
Ailanthus altissima forms dense, clonal thickets which displace native species and can rapidly invade fields, meadows, and harvested forests. This invasive tree species is extremely tolerant of poor soil conditions and can even grow in cement cracks. Ailanthus altissima is not shade tolerant, but easily invades disturbed forests or forest edges causing habitat damage. Introduced as an ornamental, it was widely planted in cities because of its ability to grow in poor conditions. Management and control efforts for this species continue across the United States at great economic cost.
Read more in the Bugwood Wiki

Resources


Selected Images



Maps



EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

Invasive Listing Sources


Taxonomic Rank


Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Sapindales
Family: Simaroubaceae
Genus: Ailanthus
Subject: Ailanthus altissima (P. Mill.) Swingle

Synonyms and Other Names


Other Common Names:
tree of heaven, ailanthus, copal tree, stinking shumac, varnish tree, Chinese sumac, paradise-tree

Related Scientific Names:
Ailanthus glandulosa (P. Mill.) Swingle (Synonym)

Categories


Plants - Hardwood Trees