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Old 07-15-2014, 05:23 PM
 
1,119 posts, read 2,289,913 times
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Ailanthus/"tree of heaven" is an extremely invasive, junky, smelly tree.

In my state of Pennsylvania, this piece of crap tree is taking over everywhere it seems. It's in urban areas growing out of cracks in pavement, on the edges of farm fields, in utility corridors, in the fringes of neglected surburban yards, and driving PA highways you can see miles and miles of it at a time on the shoulders. I wouldn't be surprised if ailanthus/tree of heaven becomes the most common tree in PA in 25 years, since it can outcompete just about anything (except in dense shade), and reproduces like crazy. I know I am seeing a lot more of it now vs. 10-15 years ago.

I also suspect a lot of people either don't know what it is, don't care, or use the wrong methods of trying to get rid of it (cutting it without using some kind of herbicide, etc.) I know some people hate herbicide, but it's the most effective way to eliminate this tree.

Why isn't there some kind of state or federal program to eliminate this tree? Even some kind of non-profit group working to eliminate it? I see all kinds of efforts to save ash trees from the borer - those purple boxes, etc. - but very few attempts to control ailanthus.

What gives?
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:59 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,718,901 times
Reputation: 38829
Do you have a more recent map than this?

http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/fia/maps/In...ebmap_aial.pdf

According to that, it is not even IN most PA counties. I have yet to see it.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:24 PM
 
1,119 posts, read 2,289,913 times
Reputation: 802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
Do you have a more recent map than this?

http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/fia/maps/In...ebmap_aial.pdf

According to that, it is not even IN most PA counties. I have yet to see it.
This is sort of misleading. Ailanthus isn't being found in "forest plots" because it can't tolerate shade in the middle of a forest. It is ALL OVER roadsides, urban areas, and open "disturbed" lands. I've seen it in Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware,Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, Monroe, Northampton, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, & Westmoreland counties.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,165 posts, read 57,302,589 times
Reputation: 52030
If they bother you that much, go yank them out, one by one. Have fun.
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Floribama
13,498 posts, read 29,444,231 times
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It's the same way down here in the Deep South with Chinese Tallow tree (and Chinese Privet), they're everywhere. You can drive along I-10 in Louisiana and see how they're taken over entire wetland areas.
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Kihei, Maui
177 posts, read 253,746 times
Reputation: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnZ963 View Post
Ailanthus/"tree of heaven" is an extremely invasive, junky, smelly tree.

In my state of Pennsylvania, this piece of crap tree is taking over everywhere it seems. It's in urban areas growing out of cracks in pavement, on the edges of farm fields, in utility corridors, in the fringes of neglected surburban yards, and driving PA highways you can see miles and miles of it at a time on the shoulders. I wouldn't be surprised if ailanthus/tree of heaven becomes the most common tree in PA in 25 years, since it can outcompete just about anything (except in dense shade), and reproduces like crazy. I know I am seeing a lot more of it now vs. 10-15 years ago.

I also suspect a lot of people either don't know what it is, don't care, or use the wrong methods of trying to get rid of it (cutting it without using some kind of herbicide, etc.) I know some people hate herbicide, but it's the most effective way to eliminate this tree.

Why isn't there some kind of state or federal program to eliminate this tree? Even some kind of non-profit group working to eliminate it? I see all kinds of efforts to save ash trees from the borer - those purple boxes, etc. - but very few attempts to control ailanthus.

What gives?
A lot of these Invasive trees were introduced in the 60's by mail order plant companies to take advantage of the Post WWII baby boomers buying "Ticky-Tacky Box Houses" in developments where all of the trees were removed or there were no trees in the first place. These grew very fast and created shade The Silver Maple and the Lombardy Popular were also sold in the same way.

These trees had their place and time to create quick shade canopies and privacy. It takes the good trees many years to create the same effect. Some trees are OK in certain settings and in town may not be that place. In fact some towns now have it in their building codes that some trees are not allowed to be replanted in parkways or above buried utilities (too many problems)

I took an evening landscaping course a number of years ago (an Arboretum in N. Illinois) that mentioned about where not to plant various trees and shrubs because of problems. They did noot say not to plant them but to worry about the location and the plants health. They mentioned about planting Canopy trees near or under overhead power lines. They would have to be trimmed and would be but not for the trees health but for the power companies service. BTW most power lines are on easements which have enough width so they can bring a full sized truck to the poles. They can take down anything in their path and do not need to replace it. The suggestion was to plant short height trees and shrubs in these areas so that the full growth height is below the lowest wire height (normally about 18 -20 ft)

By the way you can be proactive Knock on the land owners door and ask if you can do some chain saw practice on those trees. Just make sure you do clean up after your done cutting
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:28 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,718,901 times
Reputation: 38829
Tree of Heaven was introduced over 100 years ago.
Odd that is it invasive now....
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:10 PM
 
Location: CO
2,456 posts, read 2,439,044 times
Reputation: 5155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
Tree of Heaven was introduced over 100 years ago.
Odd that is it invasive now....
It is also the tree in the classic book "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."
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