Tree of Heaven

Ailanthus altissima

Tree of Heaven: Form - Click for larger image
  • Family: Simaroubaceae

  • Small to large tree

  • Rounded, open crown with dense foliage that has bad odor when crushed

  • Height reaches 15-24m (50-80’)

Leaves
Twigs & Fruiting Structures
Bark
Distribution and Uses

Leaves

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Tree of Heaven: Leaf - Click for larger image
Tree of Heaven: Flowers - Click for larger image

Twigs & Fruiting Structures

Photo by Jason Biggerstaff

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Bark

  • Grey-brown, smooth; may have narrow grooves

Distribution & Uses

  • Rapidly growing, sustains in extreme conditions, like dust, smoke, and pollution

  • Brick and concrete cracks can provide seed bed

  • Native to China; naturalized across much of United States

  • Planted for ornamentation and shade

  • Pollen causes hayfever in some people

  • Poisonous roots get into drains and wells

  • Tree from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

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Tree of Heaven: Bark - Click for larger image