Name: Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Other names: tree of heaven, ailanthus, varnish tree, or in Chinese as chouchun. In many urban areas, it has acquired the derisive nicknames of "ghetto palm", "stink tree", and "tree of Hell".
Description: A medium-sized tree that reaches heights between 17 and 27 metres (56 and 89 ft) with a diameter at breast height of about 1 metre (39 inches). The bark is smooth and light grey, often becoming somewhat rougher with light tan fissures as the tree ages. The twigs are stout, smooth to lightly pubescent, and reddish or chestnut in color. They have lenticels as well as heart-shaped leaf scars (i.e. a scar left on the twig after a leaf falls) with many bundle scars (i.e. small marks where the veins of the leaf once connected to the tree) around the edges. The buds are finely pubescent, dome shaped, and partially hidden behind the petiole, though they are completely visible in the dormant season at the sinuses of the leaf scars. The branches are light to dark gray in color, smooth, lustrous, and containing raised lenticels that become fissures with age. The ends of the branches become pendulous. All parts of the plant have a distinguishing strong odor that is often likened to peanuts, cashews, or rotting cashews.
Distribution: Native to northern and central China, Taiwan and northern Korea. It was historically widely distributed, and the fossil record indicates clearly that it was present in North America as recently as the middle Miocene.
Fun fact: Tree-of-heaven is a hardy, fast-growing invasive species capable of out-competing native species, and thriving in the most inhospitable conditions.
Dymadex's entries on plants, living organism of the kind exemplified by trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns, and mosses.
Hello \(^.^)/ Thank you for Visiting. Please check these out too: