Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle Tree of Heaven
J.Wash.Acad.Sci. 6:495 (1916)

Conservation Code: Not threatened
Naturalised Status: Alien to Western Australia
Name Status: Current

Brief Description
Amanda Spooner, Friday 3 October 1997

Suckering tree, to 8(-25) m high. Fl. white-yellow-green, Nov.

Distribution

Beard’s Provinces: South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Swan Coastal Plain.

IBRA Subregions: Perth.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Cockburn, Cottesloe, South Perth, Subiaco, Waroona.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Thursday 8 September 2016

Alternative Names. Chinese sumac, paradise tree and copal-tree.

General Biology. Growth form. Tree. Reproduction. Seed, root suckers, stem layering. Dispersal. Wind, water, birds, machinery, soil movement, garden refuse. Time to first flowering. 2+ years. Toxicity. Bark, leaves and flowers are poisonous to humans and livestock. Also known to cause dermatitis in humans. Vegetative regeneration strategy. Resprouts, produces root suckers, stem layering. Woody structure. Ring porous. Fire response. Will resprout vigorously following fire.

Notes. Is an aggressive competitor due to its allelopathic properties, ability to tolerate a wide range of soils and the abundant suckers it produces from shallow roots. Will shade out smaller plants and create monospecific stands. Spreads rapidly via highly viable wind dispersed seed.

Additional information. Origin. China. History of use/introduction. Garden escape, widely planted as a street tree.

Suggested method of management and control. Apply 250 ml Access® in 15 L of diesel to basal 50 cm of trunk (basal bark). For larger trees (greater than 30cm diameter) with thick bark stem inject 100% glyphosate. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Flowering                   Y Y Y  
Fruiting Y Y Y Y O O O         O  
Optimum Treatment   Y Y Y                  

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.

 

References

  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • Burch, P.L. & Zedaker, S.M. (2003) Removing the invasive tree Alianthus altissima. Journal of Arboriculture, 29 (1): 18.
  • DiTomaso, J. M. & Kyser, G. B. (2007) Control of Ailanthus altissima using stem herbicide applicationtechniques. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, 33 (1): 55-63.
  • Heisey, R. M. & Heisey, T. K. (2003) Herbicidal effects under field conditions of Ailanthus altissima bark extract, which contains ailanthone. Plant & Soil, 256 (1): 85-99.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Kaproth, M.A. & McGraw, J.B. (2008) Seed viability and dispersal of the wind-dispersed invasive Ailanthus altissimain aqueous environments. Forest Science, 54 (5): 490.
  • Lewis, K. C. (2007) Control techniques and management implications for the invasive Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven). The College of Arts and Sciences of Ohio University URL: http://www.ohiolink.edu/etd/send-pdf.cgi/Lewis%20Kevin%20Charles.pdf?acc_num=ohiou1180128235 - Accessed April 2009.
  • Navie, S. & Adkins, S. (2008) Environmental Weeds of Australia, An interactive identification and information resource for over 1000 invasive plants. Centre for Biological Information Technology, The University of Queensland.
  • Parsons, W.T. & Cuthbertson, E.G. (2001) Noxious weeds of Australia. 2nd Edition. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.
  • Swearingen, J.M. (1999) Tree-of-heaven, Ailanthus altissima. Alien plant invaders of natural areas - trees. URL: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/trees.html - Accessed December 2007.
  • Virginia Native Plant Society (2006) Fact sheets. URL: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/invspfactsheets.shtml - Accessed December 2007.

Project information and acknowledgements