Plant ID forum: Tree Of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

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Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Jun 24, 2015 10:25 AM CST
We are on vacation in Middle Tennessee, Crossville. All along the roadway there are these trees with these lovely blooms. Some have just a few, some are covered up with them and some have none. Some of the blooms are brilliant orange, some are yellow and some look mixed. But the trees that are yellow are yellow, those that are orange are orange. Then you see one that just can't seem to decide, lol. They are large, tall trees, the blooms are just clusters of beauty. I'm wondering if there are male & female trees, as some trees beside the blooming ones are just as large, yet show no sign of bloom. Below are pix of one that I noticed growing in the wooded area behind our condo. And I pulled up a baby one under it to bring home! Hope it lives!!
Thumb of 2015-06-24/donnabking/6051de
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Thumb of 2015-06-24/donnabking/8b823b
Thumb of 2015-06-24/donnabking/28ce99
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The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 24, 2015 10:47 AM CST
My guess is Ailanthus altissima with a common name here of 'Tree of Heaven'. It's a horribly invasive pest here and I think maybe even worse in higher rainfall locales. If you are successful with the seedling and that is what it turns out to be, you will be fighting it for a long time. They sort of look like a tree version of a shrimp plant, don't you think? Someone else will chime in here, I expect, to confirm or correct my suggestion.
Donald
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Jun 24, 2015 11:04 AM CST

Moderator

Can't see the plant quite clearly enough to be sure, but I agree with Donald, it appears to be Tree of Heaven. The "blooms" would actually be clusters of seedpods with the orange ones being at full maturity.

It is one of the most unpleasant plants ever introduced into this country. If you plant it in your own yard, your neighbors will have good reason to be unhappy with you.
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Jun 24, 2015 11:36 AM CST
Oh my, then maybe I need to keep it in a container??? And not plant it in the yard?? Yes Donald, the bloom really does remind you of shrimp plant, now that you mention it. So, it is invasive, well now I am not so sure I want to plant it. Thanks Donald & Kent. Thank You!
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill

Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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bamira
Jun 24, 2015 11:47 AM CST
female
I tip my hat to you.
male

a torn sheet of flowing fluid, in susceptible individuals, may cause an allergic reaction
[Last edited by bamira - Jun 24, 2015 11:56 AM (+)]
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Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Jun 24, 2015 11:58 AM CST
Thank you Stefan. Well guys, I just googled Tree of Heaven, and I have about decided I need to throw the thing away. :o( Crying and it said it could grow 10-15 feet in a year. Ppl, that's a lot of growth for a tree !!! They are such lush lovely trees, have such an exotic look to them. Thanks Donald, Kent & Thank You! Stefan
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 24, 2015 12:29 PM CST
Smiling If you think that is the correct ID, then, yes - destruction of the plant is probably what you need to do or regret it later if you don't. I take chances with things I find growing naturally and so far those I've deliberately tried haven't tried to take over the world. There is one I accidentally relocated when getting some sand that I've never been able to remove and another that moved in on some San Augustine plugs that is permanent, I guess. Sort of like the Bermuda grass which is ubiquitous. Sometimes something looks good, but is just way too much trouble to keep out of areas where it's not welcome.
Donald
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Jun 24, 2015 1:26 PM CST
Yes Donald, as much as it breaks my heart, I'm thinking I am going to just let it die. As we are traveling home, in still seeing them though. We are just a little over an hour from home and I just saw some so I guess they are slowly migrating this way. Funny, they are definetly not as thick the closer we get to home. So guess I don't even need to container grow. Not going to take the chance. In sure birds scatter the seed, but I'm not going to start it. As we travel west, they are getting sparse. We will keep it that way.
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jun 24, 2015 1:51 PM CST
Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) but not native to the U.S. It was apparently introduced as an Ornamental in the 1700's and is now found in many areas.
http://www.eddmaps.org/distribution/usstate.cfm?sub=3003
http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/treeheaven.shtml

From Wikipedia:
In North America, A. altissima is present from Massachusetts in the east, west to southern Ontario, southwest to Iowa, south to Texas, and east to the north of Florida. On the west coast it is found from New Mexico west to California and north to Washington. In the east of its range it grows most extensively in disturbed areas of cities, where it was long ago present as a planted street tree. It also grows along roads and railways. 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. 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. It sometimes enters undisturbed areas as well and competes with native plants. In western North America it is most common in mountainous areas around old dwellings and abandoned mining operations.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
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donnabking
Jun 24, 2015 1:59 PM CST
Yes, thank you for all the info. Pretty much what I have found too, and from what I have read, I'm thinking I'm just going to let this poor little plant die. I wish now I had just left it where it was. Thanks again for the info. I get a little bit more info with each chunk if info though. Thank You!
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 24, 2015 2:13 PM CST
Here's a bit from the University of Tennessee. It's interesting that it's apparently one of those trees that give off chemicals that inhibit other plants from growing. Allelopathy is really an interesting trait that gives a plant a competitive advantage. Plants develop a lot of traits to give them an advantage.
http://forestry.tennessee.edu/plantst.htm
Donald
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
donnabking
Jun 24, 2015 4:10 PM CST
Yes, Donald. For all it'd beauty, and oh, they are beautiful! Oh so lush and dark green and that brilliant orange of the blossoms covering them and sometimes yellow! But we are now home and I have already stretched the poor plant out in the sun to let it die. I feel so bad :o( but no way am I getting this nightmare started.

Thanks Thank You! everyone for the warning! I am SO glad I asked before I planted!
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill

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