Hi everyone I've been lurking around here for awhile, but just joined, lots of great info here. I was hoping someone could help me identify this tree. I am in the northern part of the foothills in North Carolina. Thanks
That is Ailanthus altissima or Tree of Heaven. It is a non-native invasive and that is a female and obviously loaded with seed. It spreads like crazy from seed and will eventually form a monoculture. It is impossible to kill without the use of herbicide. If cut it will resprout from it's roots, much like a locust.
posted 3 years ago
C Dart wrote:That is Ailanthus altissima or Tree of Heaven. It is a non-native invasive and that is a female and obviously loaded with seed. It spreads like crazy from seed and will eventually form a monoculture. It is impossible to kill without the use of herbicide. If cut it will resprout from it's roots, much like a locust.
It has been just across our property line I know for a least 20 years but it is growing almost out of an oak tree. Never noticed any spreading, atleast not on our property. It has been providing morning shade to my chickens along with the oak. We are trying to purchase that property and I was thinking of cutting either this tree or the oak down, it we are able to purchase. This one seems to be pretty well contained, the oak is pretty overgrown, of course that could be easily fixed with a trim. Also I like the look of this tree but from the sound of what you are saying it may need to go.
posted 3 years ago
The trunk coming up from the green bush, with a stump where a limb was cut off, is the heaven tree. As you can see this stuff is a mess. This is a rental property now and the owner refuses to spend any $$ and since it is just across the property line we can't do anything.
The photos indeed do show that to be Ailanthus altissima and it is definitely a female tree.
Here is the biology description of it.
Description and Biology
•Plant: deciduous tree that can reach 70 ft. in height; twigs with smooth, pale gray bark, and twigs that are light chestnut brown, especially in the dormant season; dioecious meaning plants are either male or female; wood soft, weak, coarse-grained and creamy white to light brown in color; leaves, stems and some flowers have a strong, unpleasant to offensive odor likened to cat urine or rotting peanuts or cashews.
•Leaves: alternate, large (1-4 ft. long), compound, with 11-25 smaller leaflets, each with one to several glandular teeth near the base.
•Flowers, fruits and seeds: large showy clusters of small yellowish-green flowers produced during June; in summer, flat, twisted, single-seeded winged fruits or samaras are produced on female trees and may remain on trees for long periods of time; individual trees may produce an estimated 325,000 seeds per year.
•Spreads: reproduces by seed and by vigorous re-sprouting, especially in response to injury such as breakage or cutting.
•Look-alikes: compound-leaved shrubs and trees like staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina), ash (Fraxinus sp.), black walnut (Juglans nigra), and hickory (Carya sp.). Sumac has fuzzy, reddish-brown stems and leaves; ash species have opposite leaves; ash, black walnut, hickory and sumac leaf margins are completely to mostly toothed; black walnuts have large green fruits.
It is considered Invasive and illegal to plant new ones. If you want to remove it, you would have to remove all soil in the area to insure getting all the roots since it can reproduce from a 2" segment of root.
It reacts much like the sumac in that if you cut the tree down, the surviving roots will send up new shoots all along their length.
This make eradication only possible by completely removing all the supporting soil ( think crater digging ) so that all the root system is removed.
It is possible, but for folks like us ( permies ), it is best to leave alone, since to eradicate it requires large doses of Herbicides that are systemic.
You can possibly contain it but that will require a thick, deep barrier (something like 1/4 in. thick steel) that is buried 5 ft. deep all around, out side of the drip line (you would have to contain all the root tips).
This is really economically unfeasible to do since you most likely would slice through some root tips even if you dug 30 feet out from the drip line of the tree, not to mention the cost of the barrier material.