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Tree of Heaven Ailanthus altissima

Phonetic Spelling
ay-LAN-thus al-TISS-ih-muh
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Invasive exotic tree to the southeast; will grow almost anywhere.  It will reseed itself, often by wind blown seeds.  Spreads by suckers.   It is not a native species, but has naturalized. 

It forms dense, thickets which will displace native species.  Its tolerance for poor soil aids its invasion of fields, meadows, forests and other areas.  Although it not shade tolerant, it will invade disturbed forests or forest edges, causing damage to the natural habitat.  It had been sold as an ornamental tree and planted in many areas.  Popular due to its ability to flourish in locations where other trees could not succeed.  The cost to manage and/or control this invader is great.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:    Very invasive.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#red#sun#deciduous#yellow#invasive#full sun#partial shade#weedy#tree#air pollution tolerant#self-seeding#poor soils tolerant#urban conditions tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#red#sun#deciduous#yellow#invasive#full sun#partial shade#weedy#tree#air pollution tolerant#self-seeding#poor soils tolerant#urban conditions tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ailanthus
    Species:
    altissima
    Family:
    Simaroubaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Description:
    Large drooping clusters of reddish brown winged seed
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Non-showy yellow-green clusters of flowers. The female trees develop large drooping clusters of reddish brown winged seed
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    18 to 24 in. pinnately compound leaves with 10-41 leaflets. Non-showy fall color.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Pollution
    Poor Soil
    Urban Conditions
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Weedy