There are problems with using the wood as lumber, however. The first scientific descriptions of the tree of heaven were made shortly after it was introduced to Europe by the French Jesuit Pierre Nicholas d'Incarville. Stems. It has now naturalized throughout much of the United States. Identification Notes.  It is classified as a noxious or invasive plant on National Forest System lands and in many states because its prolific seed production, high germination rates and capacity to regrow from roots and root fragments enable A. altissima to out-compete native species. Ailanthus altissima resembles native sumac and hickory species, but it is easily distinguished by the glandular, notched base on each leaflet. Den dey ghy stroy de bes ba'yton singer in nawth Mississippi! The name is derived from the Ambonese word ailanto, meaning "heaven-tree" or "tree reaching for the sky". All parts of the plant have a distinguishing strong odor that is often likened to peanuts, cashews, or rotting cashews..  The rachis is light to reddish-green with a swollen base. , In addition to the tree of heaven's various uses, it has also been a part of Chinese culture for many centuries and has more recently attained a similar status in the west. The current name, chouchun (Chinese: 臭椿; pinyin: chòuchūn), means "stinking tree", and is a relatively new appellation. Shade considerably hampers growth rates. Around the corner, business was brisk at a drug house where residents and customers alike weren’t above casually taking a piss in the driveway. Native to China, non-native in U.S.  It can be very difficult to eradicate, however. The tree's rings were counted, revealing its age to be 75, and museum officials hoped it would regenerate from a sucker. Ailanthus, Chinese sumac, and stinking sumac. No matter where its seed falls, it makes a tree which struggles to reach the sky. Later scholars associated this tree with ailanthus and applied the metaphor to children who, like stump sprouts of the tree, will not develop into a worthwhile human being if they don't follow rules or traditions..  It is considered a noxious weed and vigorous invasive species, and one of the worst invasive plant species in Europe and North America. It proved able to kill nearly 100% of seedlings with the exception of velvetleaf, which showed some resistance. , Ailanthus produces an allelopathic chemical called ailanthone, which inhibits the growth of other plants. southeastern Central Europe around the Danube river basin from Austria, Slovakia and Hungary south to the Balkan ranges) and most countries of the Mediterranean Basin.  She writes: There's a tree that grows in Brooklyn. Therefore, this species has been proposed as a possible biocontrol for ailanthus in the Americas. Return to our Trees of Canada resource here: Female flowers contain ten (or rarely five through abortion) sterile stamens (stamenoides) with heart-shaped anthers. J. Kelly. There is also a selection, A. altissima f. erythrocarpa, that produces "bright red seeds". Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) For example, one study in Germany found the tree of heaven growing in 92% of densely populated areas of Berlin, 25% of its suburbs and only 3% of areas outside the city altogether.  In China it is often found in limestone-rich areas.  In certain parts of the United States, the species has been nicknamed the "ghetto palm" because of its propensity for growing in the inhospitable conditions of urban areas, or on abandoned and poorly maintained properties, such as in war-torn Afghanistan. People living near the lower Yellow River know it by the name chunshu (simplified Chinese: 椿树; traditional Chinese: 椿樹; pinyin: chūnshù), meaning "spring tree". He decided to transfer Miller's older specific name into the genus of Desfontaines, resulting in the accepted name Ailanthus altissima. https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/ailalt/all.html This type of silk is known under various names: "pongee", "eri silk" and "Shantung silk", the last name being derived from Shandong Province in China where this silk is often produced. NameThatPlant.net currently features 3816 plants and 23,855 images. For more information on plant hardiness zones in Canada, visit Natural Resources Canada. This has been attributed to the tree's ability to colonize areas of rubble of destroyed buildings where most other plants would not grow. Scientific Name: Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Ailanthus: from ailanto, an Indonesian name for A. molucuanna or A. intergrifolia, meaning Tree of Heaven, or 'Reaching for the Sky', referring to tree height. Native To: China ( Fryer 2010) Date of U.S. Introduction: The drought-tolerance of the tree is strong due to its ability to effectively store water in its root system. The name is in reference to the great heights of the tree (helped by a very robust grow rate). Unlike other members of the genus Ailanthus, it is found in temperate climates rather than the tropics. A fast growing deciduous tree from China can grow 20m or more. The same study tested the extract as an herbicide on garden cress, redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus), velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti), yellow bristlegrass (Setaria pumila), barnyard grass (Echinochloa crusgalli), pea (Pisum sativum cv.  The roots are poisonous to people. This has led to the tree being called "tree of hell" among gardeners and conservationists. The problem of odor was previously avoided by only selling pistillate plants since only males produce the smell, but a higher seed production also results. In many areas it has become a noxious weed. The tree is commonly called tree of heaven—from the Ambonese word aylanto (rendered ailanthus in Latin). , The earliest introductions of A. altissima to countries outside of its native range were to the southern areas of Korea and to Japan. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database. Common Name(s): Ailanthus; Chinese sumac; Copal Tree; Paradise-tree; Stinking shumac; Tree of Heaven; Tree-of-Heaven; Varnish tree  It has naturalized across much of Europe, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the Pannonian region (i.e. Deciduous trees, up to 25 m tall; bark smooth and straightly grained; branches with pith, yellow or yellow-brown pubescent when young. , The pale yellow, close-grained and satiny wood of ailanthus has been used in cabinet work. They have a long tapering end while the bases have two to four teeth, each containing one or more glands at the tip. A hardiness zone is a geographically defined area where a given plant is capable of growing. The website also provides access to a database and images of plants photos and herbarium specimens found at … : 'foul smelling tree'), is a deciduous tree in the family Simaroubaceae.  The tree has furthermore become unpopular in cultivation in the west because it is short-lived and that the trunk soon becomes hollow, making trees more than two feet in diameter unstable in high winds..  It is also considered a good source of firewood across much of its range as it is moderately hard and heavy, yet readily available. It has smooth stems with pale gray bark, and twigs which are light chestnut brown, especially in the dormant season. Plant Height (Inches): 600 to 900 Plant Spread (Inches): 420 to 600 Time of Bloom: spring Flower Details: Green Leaf … Tree of heaven is an opportunistic plant that thrives in full sun and disturbed areas. Restrict human access?  It is flexible and well suited to the manufacture of kitchen steamers, which are important in Chinese cuisine for cooking mantou, pastries and rice. , Tree of heaven is a popular ornamental tree in China and valued for its tolerance of difficult growing conditions. It contains a quinone irritant, 2,6-dimethoxybenzoquinone, as well as quassinoids. Leaves infested by the mite begin to curl and become glossy, reducing their ability to function. Follow us on social media to keep up-to-date. Furthermore, one can scold a child by calling him a "good-for-nothing ailanthus stump sprout", meaning the child is irresponsible. Family: Simaroubaceae. The roots are also aggressive enough to cause damage to subterranean sewers and pipes.  These are virtually found anywhere in the U.S., but especially in arid regions bordering the Great Plains, very wet regions in the southern Appalachians, cold areas of the lower Rocky Mountains and throughout much of the California Central Valley, forming dense thickets that displace native plants.  The inhibitors are strongest in the bark and roots, but are also present in the leaves, wood and seeds of the plant. Studies found that Californian trees grew faster than their East Coast counterparts, and American trees in general grew faster than Chinese ones. glandulosa Desf.. A large, deciduous, often unisexual tree, frequently 50 to 70 ft, rarely loo ft high, with a trunk 2 to 3 ft in diameter, and a rounded head of branches. , In 1784, not long after Jussieu had sent seeds to England, some were forwarded to the United States by William Hamilton, a gardener in Philadelphia. A combination of several of these can be most effective, though they must of course be compatible. This manifests itself occasionally when expressing best wishes to a friend's father and mother in a letter, where one can write "wishing your ailanthus and daylily are strong and happy", with ailanthus metaphorically referring to the father and daylily to the mother. Within the oldest extant Chinese dictionary, the Erya, written in the 3rd century BC, the tree of heaven is mentioned second among a list of trees. : Certain sensitive individuals have found contact with plant parts to cause skin irritation and rashes. Flowers Species is dioecious (separate male and female plants) and flowering occurs in early summer when large clusters of small yellow flowers on 20 inch long stems develop above the foliage.  The plant may be mildly toxic. Zone 0 covers the harshest areas in Canada for plant species. The tree was the only one he left in the yard, and the staff would eat lunch with Noguchi under it. , In Chinese literature, ailanthus is often used for two rather extreme metaphors, with a mature tree representing a father and a stump being a spoiled child. The flowers are small, yello… However, enthusiasm soon waned after gardeners became familiar with its suckering habits and its foul smelling odor. This helps distinguish it from sumacs (Rhusspp.). Techniques have been developed for drying the wood so as to prevent this cracking, allowing it to be commercially harvested. , Ailanthus is also sometimes counter-nicknamed "tree from hell" due to its prolific invasiveness and the difficulty in eradicating it.  The branches are light to dark gray in color, smooth, lustrous, and containing raised lenticels that become fissures with age.  Ailanthus has also been introduced to Argentina, Australia (where it is a declared weed in New South Wales and Victoria), New Zealand (where it is listed under the National Pest Plant Accord and is classed an "unwanted organism"), the Middle East and in some countries in South Asia such as Pakistan. In China, the tree of heaven has a long and rich history. “A medium to large tree to 25 m tall. 2-10 mm long; petiole ca. In Paris, Linnaeus gave the plant the name Rhus succedanea, while it was known commonly as grand vernis du Japon. It was mentioned again in a materia medica compiled during the Tang dynasty in 656 AD. Each work favoured a different character, however, and there is still some debate in the Chinese botanical community as to which character should be used. Click on images of Tree of Heaven to enlarge. a scar left on the twig after a leaf falls) with many bundle scars (i.e.  It is considered a shade-intolerant tree and cannot compete in low-light situations, though it is sometimes found competing with hardwoods, but such competition rather indicates it was present at the time the stand was established.  The seeds borne on the female trees are 5 mm in diameter and each is encapsulated in a samara that is 2.5 cm (0.98 in) long and 1 cm (0.39 in) broad, appearing July though August, but can persist on the tree until the next spring.  The male flowers are similar in appearance, but they of course lack a pistil and the stamens do function, each being topped with a globular anther and a glandular green disc. Ailanthus altissima Common name: Tree of Heaven Symptoms induced in controlled conditions (fumigation with ozone) Fumigation of Ailanthus altissimawith enhanced ozone levels in Open Top Chambers (OTCs) produced a brown interveinal stippling. One study showed that a crude extract of the root bark inhibited 50% of a sample of garden cress (Lepidium sativum) seeds from germinating. Scientific Name: Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) The bark of the tree is smooth and light grey, while the stems are reddish or chestnut. In 1751, Jussieu planted a few seeds in France and sent others on to Philip Miller, the superintendent at the Chelsea Physic Garden, and to Philip C. Webb, the owner of an exotic plant garden in Busbridge, England. It was mentioned again in a materia medica compiled during the Tang dynastyin 656 AD. For many plants, the website displays maps showing physiographic provinces within the Carolinas and Georgia where the plant has been documented. The flowers are small and appear in large panicles up to 50 cm (20 in) in length at the end of new shoots.  It is also unable to take dye. The plant belongs to Ailanthus Desf.  In western North America it is most common in mountainous areas around old dwellings and abandoned mining operations. Synonyms: Toxicodendron altissimum Mill.;A.  It also grows along roads and railways. It has colonized natural areas in Hungary, for example, and is considered a threat to biodiversity at that country's Aggtelek National Park. For example, a 2003 study in North Carolina found the tree of heaven was present on 1.7% of all highway and railroad edges in the state and had been expanding its range at the rate of 4.76% counties per year. , The tree prefers moist and loamy soils, but is adaptable to a very wide range of soil conditions and pH values. This derives from the literature of Zhuangzi, a Taoist philosopher, who referred to a tree that had developed from a sprout at the stump and was thus unsuitable for carpentry due to its irregular shape. In the 2013 book Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City by journalist Gordon Young, the tree is referenced in a description of the Carriage Town neighborhood in Flint, Michigan. In William Faulkner's novel, Sanctuary, a "heaven-tree" stands outside the Jefferson jail, where Lee Goodwin and a "negro murderer" are incarcerated. , Due to the tree of heaven's weedy habit, landowners and other organisations often resort to various methods of control in order to keep its populations in check. , Several species of Lepidoptera utilise the leaves of ailanthus as food, including the Indian moon moth (Actias selene) and the common grass yellow (Eurema hecabe). Trees of Canada →, Latin (scientific) name: Ailanthus altissima. U.S. Forest Service Fire Effects Information System: National Invasive Species Information Center: species profile of, United States National Agricultural Library, National Park Service, Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group: Tree of Heaven (, Cal-IPC/California Invasive Plant Council: plant profile of, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ailanthus_altissima&oldid=990525161, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Chinese-language text, Articles containing simplified Chinese-language text, Articles containing traditional Chinese-language text, Taxonbars with automatically added basionyms, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 24 November 2020, at 23:54. Ailantus rhodoptera F.  The specific glandulosa, referring to the glands on the leaves, persisted until as late as 1957, but it was ultimately made invalid as a later homonym at the species level. takanai. It can withstand very low phosphorus levels and high salinity levels. In addition to the tree of heaven's various uses, it has also been a part of Chinese culture for many centuries and has more recently attained a similar status in the west. TOAL4: Toxicodendron altissimum Mill.  Similarly, another study conducted in southwestern Virginia determined that the tree of heaven is thriving along approximately 30% of the state's interstate highway system length or mileage. ", "Penn State Scientists: Tree of Heaven Really Isn't", "A Tree That Survived a Sculptor's Chisel Is Chopped Down". Common Name: Tree of Heaven.  Ailanthus has become a part of western culture as well, with the tree serving as the central metaphor and subject matter of the best-selling American novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Scientific Name: Ailanthus altissima Common Name: Tree of heaven Growing Zone: USA: 5 to 8 Life Cycle / Plant Type: Tree Plant Details.  The noxious odours have been associated with nausea and headaches, and with contact dermatitis reported in both humans and sheep, which developed weakness and paralysis. Swingle Tree of Heaven.  It has been introduced in many regions across the world. , Ingo Vetter, a German artist and professor of fine arts at Umeå University in Sweden, was influenced by the idea of the "ghetto palm" and installed a living ailanthus tree taken from Detroit for an international art show called Shrinking Cities at the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin in 2004. The leaflets are ovate-lanceolate with entire margins, somewhat asymmetric and occasionally not directly opposite to each other.  In Taiwan it is present as var. After stopping and taking photos of this unknown (to me) plant, I was able to identify it as Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima). 30-50 cm long; petiolules ca. It was one of the first trees brought west during a time when chinoiserie was dominating European arts, and was initially hailed as a beautiful garden specimen. Ailanthus altissima. In London the specimens were named by Miller as Toxicodendron altissima and in Busbridge it was dubbed in the old classification system as Rhus Sinese foliis alatis. The Plants Database includes the following 1 species of Ailanthus . The tree is associated with the black prisoner's despair in the face of his impending execution and the spirituals that he sings in chorus with other black people who keep a sort of vigil in the street below: ...they sang spirituals while white people slowed and stopped in the leafed darkness that was almost summer, to listen to those who were sure to die and him who was already dead singing about heaven and being tired; or perhaps in the interval between songs a rich, sourceless voice coming out of the high darkness where the ragged shadow of the heaven-tree which snooded the street lamp at the corner fretted and mourned: "Fo days mo! (ailanthus) genus and Simaroubaceae (Quassia family). Tree of heaven Tree-of-heaven, commonly referred to as Ailanthus altissima, is a rapidly growing deciduous tree native to a region extending from northern and central China, Taiwan and northern Korea to Australia. Deciduous; On invasive species list; Height of over 70′ Very fast growing; Leaves are pinnately compound; Has a strong, unpleasant odor; Is most common in urban and disturbed areas they are not fused), each containing a single ovule. Its production is particularly well known in the Yantai region of that province.  The sepals are cup-shaped, lobed and united while the petals are valvate (i.e. small marks where the veins of the leaf once connected to the tree) around the edges. The seeds sent by d'Incarville were thought to be from the economically important and similar looking Chinese varnish tree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum), which he had observed in the lower Yangtze region, rather than the tree of heaven.  It was once very popular in cultivation in both Europe and North America, but this popularity dropped, especially in the United States, due to the disagreeable odor of its blossoms and the weediness of its habit. The ailanthus webworm (Atteva aurea) is an ermine moth now found commonly in the United States. Sugar Snap) and maize (Zea mays cv.  It contains phytochemicals, such as quassin and saponin, and ailanthone. Scientific Name; AIGL: Ailanthus glandulosa Desf. For this reason, control measures on public lands and private property are advised where A. altissima has naturalized. It was mentioned in the oldest extant Chinese dictionary and listed in many Chinese medical texts for its purported curative ability. Life Cycle. Botanical name: Ailanthus altissima Family: Simaroubaceae. D'Incarville attached a note indicating this, which caused much taxonomic confusion over the next few decades. , In northern Europe the tree of heaven was not considered naturalised in cities until after the Second World War. It is the only tree that grows out of cement. It has a smooth, grey bark with compound leaves which are alternate, odd-pinnate, with 11-25 lanceolate leaflets. Zhejiang Province in eastern China is most famous for producing these steamers. The name stems from the fact that A. altissima is one of the last trees to come out of dormancy, and as such its leaves coming out would indicate that winter was truly over.  The females can produce huge amounts of seeds, normally around 30,000 per kilogram (14,000/lb) of tree, and fecundity can be estimated non-destructively through measurements of dbh.. The tree had been spared by the sculptor Isamu Noguchi when in 1975 he bought the building which would become the museum and cleaned up its back lot.  Its suckering ability makes it possible for this tree to clone itself indefinitely.  The wood is also used to make charcoal for culinary purposes.  It is frequently found in areas where few trees can survive. On the west coast it is found from New Mexico west to California and north to Washington. The same study characterised the tree as using a "gap-obligate" strategy in order to reach the forest canopy, meaning it grows rapidly during a very short period rather than growing slowly over a long period. 7-13 cm; lamina ca. Some people call it the Tree of Heaven. Ailanthus altissima, commonly called tree of heaven, is native to China and was introduced into New York City in 1820 as a street tree and food source for silkworm caterpillars. When they emerge in the spring, the leaves are bronze then quickly turn from medium to dark green as they grow. [note 1], In addition to its use as an ornamental plant, the tree of heaven is also used for its wood and as a host plant to feed silkworms of the moth Samia cynthia, which produces silk that is stronger and cheaper than mulberry silk, although with inferior gloss and texture. Although the live tree tends to have very flexible wood, the wood is quite hard once properly dried.  Resistance in various plant species has been shown to increase with exposure. Wetland Status. " For example, the city of Basel in Switzerland has an eradication program for the tree. He published an article with an illustrated description and gave it the name Ailanthus glandulosa, placing it in the same genus as the tropical species then known as A. integrifolia (white siris, now A. triphysa). In both Europe and America it quickly became a favoured ornamental, especially as a street tree, and by 1840 it was available in most nurseries. Latin name: Ailanthus altissima Common name: Tree of Heaven. Furthermore, high concentrations of mercury have been found built up in tissues of the plant. It is drought-hardy, but not tolerant of flooding.  On the other hand, a study in an old-growth hemlock-hardwood forest in New York found that Ailanthus was capable of competing successfully with native trees in canopy gaps where only 2 to 15% of full sun was available. Ailanthus altissima Common name(s): Tree-of-Heaven The Tree-of-Heaven is native to northern China where it has a rich history dating back hundreds of years.  The tree also resprouts vigorously when cut, making its eradication difficult and time-consuming. Common Name: Tree of Heaven: Scientific Name: Ailanthus altissima: Family: Simaroubaceae : Growth Form: Tree: Native Range: Central China: Invasive Range: The Tree of Heaven has invaded 42 of the 50 United States, including the majority of the East and West coasts.  Another experiment showed a water extract of the chemical was either lethal or highly damaging to 11 North American hardwoods and 34 conifers, with the white ash (Fraxinus americana) being the only plant not adversely affected.  In many countries, it is an invasive species due to its ability both to colonize disturbed areas quickly and to suppress competition with allelopathic chemicals.  Primary wind dispersal and secondary water dispersal are usually positively correlated in A. altissima since most morphological characteristics of samaras affect both dispersal modes in the same way – except for the width of the samaras, which in contrast affects both types of dispersal in opposing ways, allowing differentiation in the dispersal strategies of this tree.  Prolonged cold and snow cover cause dieback, although the trees resprout from the roots.  The fruits grow in clusters; a fruit cluster may contain hundreds of seeds. Populations without prior exposure to the chemicals are most susceptible to them. Rather than the issue being resolved, more names soon appeared for the plant: Jakob Friedrich Ehrhart observed a specimen in Utrecht in 1782 and named it Rhus cacodendron.. Ailanthus altissima is a small to medium-sized tree of the mostly tropical Quassia family. Family Name: Simaroubaceae - Quassia Family. It has escaped cultivation in all areas where it was introduced, but most extensively in the United States. "[I]n a sense, the sculpture garden was designed around the tree", said a former aide to Noguchi, Bonnie Rychlak, who later became the museum curator. Ailanthus altissima Other common names: Chinese Sumac, Tree of Heaven Other scientific names: Ailanthus glandulosus, Ailanthus peregrina, Toxicodendron altissimum  The tree of heaven is found within a wide range of climatic conditions. Leaves compound, imparipinnate, ca. At that time as well as now, ailanthus was common in neglected urban areas. Most leaflets have one to three coarse teeth near their base. The buds are finely pubescent, dome shaped, and partially hidden behind the petiole, though they are completely visible in the dormant season at the sinuses of the leaf scars. Click below on a thumbnail map or name for species profiles. By 2008, the old tree was found to be dying and in danger of crashing into the building, which was about to undergo a major renovation. It spreads aggressively both by seeds and vegetatively by root sprouts, re-sprouting rapidly after being cut.  Ailanthus is among the most pollution-tolerant of tree species, including sulfur dioxide, which it absorbs in its leaves. Swingle ( ITIS) Common Name: Tree-of-heaven, China-sumac, varnishtree. It grows in boarded up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps. , The tree of heaven is a very rapidly growing tree, possibly the fastest growing tree in North America. It was formerly known under the scientific name Atteva punctella (see Taxonomy section). The plant is sometimes incorrectly cited with the specific epithet in the masculine (glandulosus or altissimus), which is incorrect since botanical, like Classical Latin, treats most tree names as feminine. Each work favoured a different character, however, and there is still some debate in the Chinese botanical commun… Ailanthus rhodoptera F. Muell. , Confusion in naming began when the tree was described by all three men with three different names. The tree was first brought from China to Europe in the 1740s and to the United States in 1784. There are extant records from the 1750s of disputes over the proper name between Philip Miller and John Ellis, curator of Webb's garden in Busbridge. The leaves are large, odd- or even-pinnately compound on the stem. The 1943 book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith uses the tree of heaven as its central metaphor, using it as an analogy for the ability to thrive in a difficult environment. Male trees produce three to four times as many flowers as the females, making the male flowers more conspicuous. The museum hired the Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop, an artists' collective, to use the wood to create benches, sculptures and other amenities in and around the building. The tree grows rapidly and is capable of reaching heights of 15 m (50 feet) in 25 years. The roots, leaves and bark are used in traditional Chinese medicine, primarily as an astringent. Toxicodendron altissimum Mill.  The tree was separately brought to California in the 1890s by Chinese immigrants who came during the California Gold Rush. It also does not tolerate deep shade. It involves the application of foliar or basal herbicides in order to kill existing trees, while either hand pulling or mowing seedlings in order to prevent new growth. All Images Enlarge Image. The individual flowers are yellowish green to reddish in color, each with five petals and sepals. The ends of the branches become pendulous. It grows up out of cellar gratings. D'Incarville had sent seeds from Peking via Siberia to his botanist friend Bernard de Jussieu in the 1740s.  Within China itself it has also been naturalized beyond its native range in areas such as Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang.