University of Maryland Extension

Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus) *

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Tree of Heaven
Ailanthus altissima

multiple tree of heaven trees
A grove of tree of heaven trees
Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org

Life cycle/information: deciduous tree. The preferred host plant of spotted lanternfly.
Growth habit: fast growing and invasive*; leaf large, 1 to 4 ft. long, compound with 11 - 25 leaflets; leaflets have a smooth margin and 1-2 teeth near the base with a pair of small glandular structures; entire plant has an unpleasant odor but particularly the leaves if they are crushed.
Tree of Heaven looks similar to native sumac and black walnut.

Tree of Heaven leaf
Compound leaf of tree of heaven

Reproduction: seeds; male and female flowers on separate plants, followed by papery samaras; large leaf scars and smooth bark; resprouts from roots if cut

tree of heaven seed clusters
Tree of heaven ripening seed pods
Annemarie Smith, ODNR Division of Forestry, Bugwood.org

tree of heaven leaf scar
Leaf scar on twig
Daniel Herms, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

Conditions that favor growth: escaped cultivation and can be found in any location, even under harsh conditions

ailanthus seedling
Tree of heaven seedling

 Controlling Tree of Heaven

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