I tried Paul's weed identification site and had no luck. Can someone kindly identify this horrid weed for me and instruct me as to how to kill it? It sprouts up quickly, of course, and leaves a disgusting smell if you break any piece of it off. It also quickly develops sort of a woody exterior if allowed to grow too long (my neighbor never uproots hers, to my dismay).
The photos show sprouts of Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus altissima, a weedy tree. It spreads by both seedlings and root suckers. Dig up the root if you dislike it. Beware of trying poison, because if the herbicide translocated to a neighbor's desired specimen tree, and it was injured or killed, you would be liable. In this regard it is similar to bamboo, and all you can do is try to stop it at your property line.
Oh, dear, it appears you are correct. Well that's not good news. Apparently this thing is allelopathic. It will compete with and probably kill (due to its release of toxins-- my rather simplistic understanding) anything I plant near it. It's also really bad near pipes.
I have also read it's very tolerant of many toxins, itself. So even if I did not take your advice and attempted poisoning it, my chances of success might be low. (I tried salt when it emerged in my woodpile; it survived.)
The sites I've checked indicate you can't cut it because it regrows vigorously when cut. So goats are out!
Anyone have any ideas other than digging them out individually? They spread aggressively and my neighbor has, as I've mentioned, quite a crop of them. I've not had much luck scorching them with my weed dragon, by the way.