Ailanthus altissima – Tree of Heaven
If there is such a thing as a tree to detest, this might be it, Ailanthus altissima, introduced to the British Isles in 1751. I do not wish however, to be species-ist, but this tree has been introduced into the wrong places by us, and it behooves us to prevent it getting away, something it seriously threatens to do. It can form a handsome mature tree – there is one outside Euston Station right on the Euston Road. It is a native of east Asia. Infact, it can have some beneficial aspects for example the root bark has anti-tobacco mosaic virus properties seehere and it is less tolerant of dry conditions. It has caused rashes and reactions in some people – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19465625
See how fast it grows – the first picture is taken in June in Agar Grove, then the second in September, the third on Sunday 27th of November.
It has many properties that make it a dangerous invasive species; it grows very quickly; it has winged seeds that can quickly disperse; if you cut it it re-sprouts very vigorously.
“Manual control of Ailanthus should be avoided in order to prevent proliferation. Herbicide control of Ailanthus is the preferred method of control because it successfully kills the trees and prevents resprouting. ”
Patrick L. Burch and Shepard M. Zedaker
REMOVING THE INVASIVE TREE AILANTHUS ALTISSIMA AND RESTORING NATURAL COVER. Journal of Arboriculture 29(1): January 2003