Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Tree of Heaven

Ailanthus altissima


A tree of heaven sapling down by the damn of the Verdigris River in Independence, KS. There's a whole forest of these down there. Which makes sense. The tree of heaven is a horribly invasive species that can clone itself. That's right through it's suckers it can make identical copies of an adult tree. It also can spread it seeds (which resemble helicopter blades) over wide areas and reproduce even faster that way. An injured tree of heaven will send out root dozens of root sprouts and each sprout can produce seeds at two years.Related to the sumacs you can tell that this tree is the tree of heaven because of its reddish stem and relatively smooth leaves. Versus the brown stems and jagged leaves of the more common smooth sumac here in Kansas. If it breeding like a rabbit wasn't enough to make it a pest it's also an allelopathic plant which means its roots leak chemicals that will kill other flora surrounding it. Just a real dick of a plant.


Native to China this is an invasive species in much of the US.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

The GeoDex
Spotted by
The GeoDex

Independence, Kansas, United States

Spotted on Sep 18, 2020
Submitted on Sep 18, 2020

Spotted for Mission

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors

Join the Project Noah Team Join Project Noah Team