Confirmation of non native tree

anita55(zone 6 NY)April 27, 2008

Hello, I posted on the "name that plant" forum for ID of this tree. I'd just like one more opinion to see if you all come up with the same ID I got there for this tree. Thank you.

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esh_ga

If you're trying to confirm whether it is Tree of Heaven, you might try cutting a piece of it. Tree of Heaven's other nickname is Stinking Sumac apparently because of it's resemblance to Sumac and the fact that it stinks.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 12:58PM
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anita55(zone 6 NY)

Yes you replied on the name that plant forum and i appreciate that. I have cut down Tree of Heaven before but I never saw one with this odd shape which is why I want to be sure that's what it is. thanks.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 1:18PM
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esh_ga

What odd shape do you mean? The ones near me (on the roadside), all look like bare sticks just like this (growing straight up like an arrow).

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 1:34PM
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greenhaven(SW MI z6)

Definitely makes me think "sumac" but I don't know which kind. The leaves and growing habit are major giveaways.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 1:44PM
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anita55(zone 6 NY)

Here is a picture of what I recognize as Tree of Heaven. I was told on the forum that's what it was, and I removed from my yard.

That's why I want to be sure of what this is. Do you think these this tree is the same as the first photo? I'm going to look at Sumac now, too. Any help is appreciated.

Anita

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 2:16PM
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esh_ga

Different conditions and age can define the shape. Certainly the tree in the picture above (the one next to the building) is a well established tree of heaven. But young trees and trees which have not had reason to branch (such as being pruned or munched by deer) often have the single stick look.

How tall are the ones in the first pictures?

The leaves will be out soon enough and that should help with the identification as well.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 3:39PM
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esh_ga

Links which might be useful that show the stem:

http://cricket.biol.sc.edu/acmoore/527/plants/ailanthus.jpg

http://classes.hortla.wsu.edu/hort231/List05/Slide14.jpg

http://www2.una.edu/pdavis/images/trees/twigs/ailalt01.jpg

The stems of sumac are not so straight and if they have flowered, the flowers are usually still attached:

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 3:45PM
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sam_md

Ailanthus altissima, Tree of Heaven or more aptly Ghetto Palm. If you think that's oddly shaped you should see the well-known pic of the mature tree that sprouted in the roof gutter, followed down the downspout and rooted into the ground.
The best treatment that I know of is basal herbicide application. Wound the tree at the base, paint with full strength herbicide and allow the whole tree including roots to die. I do this in September, maybe it will work now, not sure.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 3:54PM
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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

Could also be staghorn sumac, Rhus typhina. Mine looks exactly like your pic right now 'cept the bark is fuzzy. Smooth bark, it's likely Ailanthus. Cut a twig/branch, ailanthus stinks.

The two are commonly mistaken for one another.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ailanthus/Staghorn Sumac

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 1:14PM
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esh_ga

Great link, kwoods! These plants can be confused and that article has some great side by side photos. I've bookmarked it for future use.

I think you can see in Anita's first picture that the foliage is emerging above last year's leaf scar, a characteristic mark of Ailanthus rather than Sumac (where the new leaf emerges from within the leaf scar).

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 1:35PM
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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

"the foliage is emerging above last year's leaf scar"

Good info and good to know. Strange how some things you can tell apart when you see them just becaue you "know" them. Much better to have a definitive characteristic in mind.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 9:50AM
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bob64(6)

Like Esh Ga says, try the sniff test. Ailanthus smells horrible.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 10:05AM
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anita55(zone 6 NY)

What a lot of useful information I have once again gotten from you guys. Thank you so much. I have passed this all on to my sister in law whose yard this is growing in.

A

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 5:21PM
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rhetrx(z7 MD)

I've seen young Ailanthus trees look like the picture of your mystery trees. I _think_ that the male trees of this species are the ones that smell strongly of bad peanut butter when bruised or cut.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 11:04PM
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