Tree-of-Heaven: Ailanthus altissima
|Weed Description: A weedy tree that may
reach 60 feet in height. This tree has developed into a problem along roadsides, in
rights-of-way, in urban areas, and even in certain agricultural fields. Found
throughout the United States.
Seedling: Trees can arise from seed or colonies of this tree are often found due to saplings arising from underground roots. Seedlings resemble mature trees and have alternate and compound leaves.
|Roots: Underground roots may produce
new saplings as far as 10 feet away from the central plant.
Leaves: Individual leaves are arranged alternately along the stem and consist of 15-27 individual leaflets per leaf. Leaflets are lanceolate in shape with entire margins except for 1-5 teeth near the base of each leaflet. The foliage emits a distinctive, often considered unpleasant, odor.
|Stems: Woody, light brown to tan in
color, and stout.
Flowers: Produced in large terminal panicles. Individual flowers are relatively inconspicuous and consist of 5 green petals that are approximately 1.5 to 2.5 mm long.
|Fruit: A winged samara that is
approximately 1.5 inches long and contains only one seed. Clusters of about 2 to 5
samaras occur at a time.
Identifying Characteristics: Weedy, colonizing trees with alternate and compound leaves and foliage that emits an unpleasant odor.