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Ailanthus...not popular with neighbour.

Pest county, near Budapest, Hungary Hu

An Ailanthus tree grew from nowhere in our garden last year. It was self seeded there somehow. I have not noticed any in nearby gardens. It is a common tree in the hedgerows around here. It has attractive leaves and I was happy to leave it. It is near our border fence and our neighbour says it is a bad tree and we need to remove it. I guess he is worried it will sucker into his garden. What is the official opinion of this tree? Why has is got a bad reputation? Locally it is known as the tree of heaven which doesn't sound that bad to me.

On plant Ailanthus altissima



Maybe he is worried about it self-seeding everywhere? looks like I needn't worry about my little seedlings ;-)

10 May, 2008


i just was vondering about trees etc. and i'm supressed sombady here in hungary is asking or try to find out something about this...
i'm hungarian and my english is not perfect, but i have lived more then 10 years in the us, and i love every kind of 'greens', and i'm happy if there is somebody from us who try to make a nice garden in hungary
its a littlebit funky....
i wish you 'luck' and every kind of good...
this tree is butifull, bat really verry invasiv or what, but i just was reading about that what kind of history it has in china and a what a verry important part of tradicional chines medicine...
i was suprised...
and i never felt that very bad smell....
good luck and i was happy to read you

2 Nov, 2008


hi Chris... I was just reading about the effects of the tree of heaven on infrastructure... it roots in little or no soil...and grows very quickly... it is quite invasive...but the mention that I read was in a book....
"The weeds are followed by the city's most prolific exotic species, the Chinese ailanthus tree. Even with 8 million people around, ailanthus~otherwise innocently known as the-tree-of-heaven~ are implacable invaders capable of rooting in tiny chinks in subway tunnels, unnoticed until their spreading leaf canopies start poking from sidewalk grates."
From: "The World Without Us, Alan Weisman, St.Martin's Press, N.Y., 2007.

So I can understand your neighbours horror... Once you have this species it's quite difficult to eradicate... the keys are the part that is hardest to you received seemingly a gift of prepared to watch it carefully and remove any seedlings or you'll have a forest.
Their roots wreak havoc on sidewalks and I hope it's not near your filter bed...or sewer..
only word for this lovely tree is INVASIVE. Good Luck.

26 Nov, 2008


Hi Lori - Wikipeadia has a good entry on this tree. Don't know what the situation is in Hungary, and obviously in NY is sounds invasive, but it does not seem to be invasive in the UK - don't know why that should be as I would think the NY climate is a bit more extreme that the UK climate in both directions. A friend sent me some seeds last year - they're about a foot high now - and she said that the seedlings are very prone to slug damage - so maybe our sluggy friends sort them out?! I was hoping to sell my trees - but I doubt now that anyone will buy them and if someone does, should I warn them and do I need to warn them....?

27 Nov, 2008


hmmm... good question Chris... it's always wise to err on the side of caution, I suppose.
Part of the reference from the book I quoted...mentioned that they like warmth and water... and the angle they were looking at it from was the effects of new species on old growth forest... there is a forest primeval north of you straddling the border of Poland and Belarus, called the Bialowieza Puszcza..(the last forest of it's kind in Europe). and the book talks about the fertility~ untouched and unmanaged by mankind~... (that is changing unfortuneately) but also about the invasion of "foreign" species on these forests... wouldn't like to think what would happen in the BP should a tree of heaven find it's way in.

27 Nov, 2008

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