Tree of Heaven identification
The Tree of Heaven Ailanthus altissima, native to northern and central China, was introduced to Britain in 1751. It was planted extensively in London Squares and elsewhere in parks, streets and gardens. It is now very common in urban areas and has spread naturally in the warmer parts of the USA by colonising waste ground. It is considered an invasive species in many countries and very difficult to eradicate because of its ability to re-sprout vigorously when cut.
Tree of Heaven identification – large Ash-like pinnate leaves with up to 21 leaflets, fruit ‘keys’ that turn orange in autumn, bark with vertical ‘snakes’. The leaves have a characteristic bad odour when crushed. At first sight the tree looks like an Ash but closer examination of the leaves shows the difference. Click on any photo to enlarge it.