Plant ID forum: Tree Of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

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Wichita, KS
Catz
Jul 16, 2015 6:25 PM CST
I'm in the Wichita, Kansas area and have been breaking out in a rash that looks like poison ivy. But cannot find any in the yard. Could this plant be the culprit? Looks similar to poison sumac.
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Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Jul 16, 2015 6:50 PM CST
It could be Elderberry.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 16, 2015 6:51 PM CST
Yes, looks like poison something ivsaw recently. I'll get back to you. ..
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 16, 2015 6:53 PM CST
http://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_...
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 16, 2015 6:53 PM CST
But it looks like elderberry, too.
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 16, 2015 6:55 PM CST
http://www.all-creatures.org/pica/ftshl-elderberry-01.jpg.
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Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
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Zencat
Jul 16, 2015 7:01 PM CST
Sambucus has serrated edged. This does appear to have them.
Wichita, KS
Catz
Jul 16, 2015 7:09 PM CST
Elderberry images I've seen has edges that are kinda jagged looking whereas these plants have some pretty smooth looking edges
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Jul 16, 2015 7:36 PM CST

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Probably one of the sumacs.

Name: Ron
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rattlebox
Jul 16, 2015 8:29 PM CST
No real idea what it is, but pretty sure it is NOT Poison Sumac. Poison Sumac leaflets are wider, and the stems are reddish.



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Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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KentPfeiffer
Jul 16, 2015 8:44 PM CST

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Looks like Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) which is known to cause rashes in some people.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jul 17, 2015 7:41 AM CST
I was going to suggest what Kent did, for ID.

There are SO many plants that can cause a rash, but the poison ivy/oak/sumac gets most of the attention because they can cause their misery from very slight, casual contact with unbroken plant parts. That's pretty a pretty rare thing for plants to do, and Ailanthus isn't in that category, that I've found. The anecdotes are about exposure to sap. Have you been molesting Ailanthus (trying to remove it, pruning?)
https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=ailanthus+rash

Have you been propagating &/or pruning other plants? The sap of so many plants can be caustic, for the unfortunate few unlucky enough to be sensitive to the alkaloids in them. Since that sensitivity is pretty rare, coupled with there needing to be coincidental molestation of plants by the person who happens to be sensitive, that kind of thing is hard to research, and not much understood in regard to a lot of plants. If you've been exposed to plant saps, it might help to list them here. I'd be happy to let you know if they are ones I've encountered in my long, exhaustive search to figure out why I kept getting "mystery poison ivy." Turns out, the sap of many yard plants & many of my house plants are caustic to my skin.



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Wichita, KS
Catz
Jul 17, 2015 8:02 AM CST
That's the problem, I've not done anything in the yard around this time frame. My dad tends the yard the most and even times I'd helped out here and there, planting new grass, trimming along the fence, I'd never had a problem. Suddenly I've not been outside much at all this month and then I'm breaking out. Now on the night of the 4th, we did take in a scared and lost boxer dog, which I though could have rubbed oils off onto me. That was around midnight on a Saturday and we handled him the following Sunday to take him to the shelter. The following Thursday is when the rash was first discovered on me and was on the upper inner thigh. Since then, I've slowly been breaking out more but not as severe looking as the first bit. It's sporadic throughout my calves and at my ankles. This is why I went on a hunt to find out if it's something in my own yard that my own dogs may be continuing to rub off onto me but so far nothing suspicious in the back yard. But I'm no plant expert either.
Wichita, KS
Catz
Jul 17, 2015 8:06 AM CST
Also we do have some trees in the back that look similar to that. Tho I don't recall them ever stinking or blooming in any way. I'll take a pic when I'm back home later
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jul 17, 2015 10:07 AM CST
That gap is within normal range between exposure to urishiol (the irritating oil in poison ivy/oak/sumac plants) and onset of the rash. Animals are a common vector of exposure. Sounds very likely that you nailed it, suspecting the dog.
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Wichita, KS
Catz
Jul 17, 2015 11:23 AM CST
I spoke too soon about the tree, now that I've looked, it does have more than just leaves on the larger one. There's a few of those trees along the fence line that the dogs are always pulling branches and leaves off of. As well as various small sprouts elsewhere

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jul 17, 2015 12:08 PM CST
There are many plants that can cause dermatitis and rashes in humans when they come into contact with leaves or other parts of the plants. Do your dogs have a large area where they roam? It's very possible that the dogs could have come into contact with poison ivy, oak, sumac etc. and transferred it to you when you are handling/petting them.

Those photos of your plant do indeed look like the Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) that KentPfeiffer linked to earlier : http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=ailanthus+altissima&qpvt...

If those trees on your property are Ailanthus altissima, be aware that they contain toxins that are harmful to dogs:
http://lsesc.net/toxins/plants/toxic-plants-t/tree-of-heaven...
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jul 17, 2015 12:13 PM CST
Definitely Ailanthus. They may be separate entities, or may be connected underground. Trees form colonies, a giant weed.
http://plantscience.psu.edu/research/projects/vegetative-man...
http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/ailalt/all.ht...
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFind...
http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/treeheaven.shtml

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