aka Weed Trees, aka The Tree of Heaven
I’ve had many discussions with friends about their love / hate relationship with these pesky urban-infill trees that seem to sprout out of anywhere and grow inches a day!
Ailanthus glandulosa was originally brought over from by a gardener in Philadelphia in 1780 and into California during the 1800’s from China, it’s native land. The tree is amazingly resilient and with its leafy palm like leaves, provides greenery and shade. It can reproduce through the abundant seed pods it releases and through roots, but a chemical that the tree produces prevents and kills other plants nearby. These tricky roots are also notorious for creeping into sewers, pipes and foundations.
Now this plant is considered an invasive species, a noxious weed and prohibited in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Here in Colorado this species is not listed on the Invasive / Noxious Plants list, but still is a problem in many Denver neighborhoods.
For me… the jury is still out, I love the shade and the green in the city, but that’s only because I haven’t had to pay to fix a pipe or foundation destroyed by the roots! (their seeds and pollen are also a pain to clean off of patios)
Oh, and “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” that would be a Tree of Heaven!
and a special thanks to Cheryl Bicknell for sending over some resources!