Tree of heaven
About This Species
Native to China, Tree of Heaven is a deciduous tree that became popular in BC with gardeners for its rapid growth and interesting foliage. It produces by seed and by division and can sprout nearly anywhere – it is tolerant to a wide range of environmental condition. It is described as foul-smelling and now considered a weedy, invasive species that crowds out other plants.
How to Identify
At maturity, Tree of heaven can reach between 20 – 30 m in height and 10 – 15 m in width. Leaves grow to 50 cm and are divided into oval-shaped leaflets. Flowers are small and white. In the fall, the foliage turns yellow. Fruit is a showy red samara (like a maple’s “helicopter” like winged seeds). Bark is grey and lightly textured.
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Prevention is the best approach.
If you need advice about invasive species on your property or you are concerned about reported invasives in your local area, contact your local government or regional invasive species organization.
Learn about best practices
A few non-invasive alternatives to plant instead of Tree of heaven include:
- Elderberry (Sambucus spp.)
- Golden raintree (Koelreuteria paniculata)
- Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia)
- Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)
- Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)