Tree-of-heaven

Ailanthus altissima

Overview

  • Description: It has curved branches, and grows 6-10m high. It has smooth bark, with leaves up to 90 cm long. The flowers are small and yellows, with the male flowers having an unpleasant odour.

  • Origin and Worldwide Distribution: It is native to China. It has since been introduced across the world to Australia, the United Sates of America, Canada, Algeria, South Africa, India, Turkey, Pakistan, Albania, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Mata, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

  • Potential or Known Impacts: Highly adaptable to a variety of habitats. Shades out and outcompetes native species.

  • How did it/could it get here? It could get here due to human means like for ornamental plants or by dirty vehicular means. There is a possibility that it could get here via wind or water.

  • If already present in Ireland where? Not present in Ireland

  • Methods for Prevention: EU-level action includes a ban on sales and any planting or keeping, as well as eradication of any new populations to avoid the high costs associated with its management later on.

  • Current Legislative Position¬†(Listed on 14 August 2019) This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment. For further queries, you can contact the Non Native Invasive Species Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558.
Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland