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560 Views 3 Replies Last post: Sep 4, 2013 10:43 AM by MikeHardman RSS
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Sep 4, 2013 9:24 AM

Tree of heaven?

I've been trying to identify a tree in my garden. Visually, it seems to fit all the descriptions of a Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) except for the odour they're supposed to have. I've tried crushing leaves and snapping twigs, but this tree only smells of general "plant".

 

It's about 45' tall, but I've no idea how old it is. This is the 4th summer we've lived here, and the first time it's produced seed pods. Last year it produced tiny white flowers for the first time.

 

There's a few photos here (ignore the unrelated leaves on the photo of the trunk)...

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/adrianclark/sets/72157635282278705/

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 4, 2013 10:07 AM (in response to sfocata)
    Re: Tree of heaven?

    You're right - Ailanthus altissima.

    It is only the male plants that produce the distinctive smell (phew!)

     

    Mike

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      • Currently Being Moderated
        Sep 4, 2013 10:43 AM (in response to sfocata)
        Re: Tree of heaven?

        Modes of competition suppression in AIlanthus...

         

        Pioneer success: simply getting established first enables many plants to develop sufficient root system and canopy (light deprivation) to inhibit growth of competitve plants.

         

        But Ailanthus also pruodcues a root exudate called ailanthone, as discussed here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ailanthus_altissima

         

        See also allellopathy, as regards suppressive chemicals produced by roots and leaf decay.

         

        Mike

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