Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ailanthus

A genus of 6 species of deciduous and evergreen trees with pinnate leaves that are native to Asia and Australia.
Propagation is from root cuttings or seed.

Ailanthus altissima ( Tree of Heaven )
A dense, rounded, large deciduous tree native to northern and western China. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 13 feet; 20 years - 75 x 50 feet with trunk diameter of 16 inches; largest on record - 150 x 70 feet with a trunk diameter of 7 feet; longest lived - 231 years. In much of the eastern U.S., the Tree of Heaven is too well adapted, having turned into a weed. The seeds sprout prolifically and suckers have even been known to sprout 50 feet away from the parent tree.
The pinnate leaves, up to 3 feet in length, are composed of ovate leaflets, up to 6 inches in length. Sucker shoots may have leaves reaching as much as 6 feet in length. The foliage is ruby-red at first, turning to glossy deep green above, bright green beneath.
The flowers are borne on clusters, up to 16 inches in length, during mid-summer.
They are followed by massed winged fruits, up to 1.6 inches long, during early fall. The fruits are greenish-orange, later turning bronze-red.
The bark is smooth and gray, becoming slightly rougher on older trees.
Hardy zones 5 to 10 ( tolerating -28 F ) in full sun to partial shade on soil with PH 5.5 to 8. Tolerant of urban conditions and flooding. The Tree of Heaven can survive anywhere with an average yearly rainfall over 12 inches per year.

* photos taken on June 19 2010 in Clarksville, MD


* photo taken on August 5 2010 @ Woodlands Arboretum, Clinton, Ontario

* photos taken July 31 2011 in Hyde Park, NY


* photos taken on Aug 30 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 4 2013 in Bayfield, Ontario

* photos taken on Sep 3 2013 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken by Doug Goldman @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photos taken on Aug 12 2016 in Howard Co., MD

* historic archive photos


Ailanthus excelsa ( Indian Tree of Heaven )
An extremely fast growing, medium-sized tree that is native to India. Some records include: 2.5 years - 22 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.2 inches; largest on record - 82 feet with a trunk diameter of 4.6 feet.
The pinnate leaves, up to 3 feet in length, are composed of up to 28 ovate leaflets, up to 8 x 3 ( rarely over 4 x 2 ) inches.
The smooth bark is light gray. On old trees the bark becomes rough and gray-brown.
Hardy zones 10 to 12. Very tolerant of heat and also tolerant of drought.

Ailanthus fordii
An evergreen small tree native to far southern China and Hong Kong where it is very endangered. Some records include: largest on record - 33 feet.
The pinnate leaves, up to 2 feet in length, are composed of up to 27 ovate leaflets up to 5 x 2.3 inches in size.
The cream colored flowers are borne in panicles up to 16 x 8 inches in size.
Hardy zones 10 to 11

Ailanthus integrifolia
A very large, evergreen tree native to southeastern Asia, far northern Australia and the Solomon Islands.
Some records include: largest on record - 200 feet
The pinnate leaves, up to 6.5 feet in length, are composed of up to 18 leaflets, up to 16 x 6 inches.
Hardy zones 10 to 12

Ailanthus triphysa ( White Siris )
Also called Ailanthus malabarica. A fast growing, umbrella-shaped, large, evergreen tree native from India to southeast Asia, also south into eastern Australia. Some records include: largest on record - 150+ x 33 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet.
The pinnate leaves, up to 30 inches in length, are composed of up to 60 narrow, sickle shaped leaflets, up to 7 x 2 inches. The foliage is deep green above, whitish beneath.
The flowers are white and are followed by oval fruits, up to 2 inches in length, ripen to brown during early summer.
The bark is similar to that of Ailanthus altissima.
Hardy zones 9 to 12.

Ailanthus vilmoriniana ( Vilmore Ailanthus )
A rare, large deciduous tree that is very similar to that of Ailanthus altissima except for having densely downy foliage and young branches being clothed in small prickles. Some records include: largest on record - 150 feet with a trunk diameter of 6.4 feet. It is long lived and can exceed 100 years. It is rare outside its native range but has been recorded to exceed 70 feet in England.
The pinnate leaves, up to 48 inches in length, are composed of up to 35 leaflets, up to 6 inches in length.
Hardy zones 6 to 10

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