Tree of Heaven  (Ailanthus)
Leaf Characteristics
  • broad, flat
  • compound
  • pinnately compound
  • margins toothed
  • 1 to 2 teeth on each side of base
Tree of Heaven  (Ailanthus)
Fruit Characteristics
  • single winged
  • elongate
  • seed cavity round or flattened
  • fruit twisted
Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus)
Ailanthus altissima

The rank, offensive odor of crushed leaves from this tree leads one to wonder how it ever got its common name. The distinctive leaflets of the compound leaves have just a few teeth near the base of each leaflet. Each "tooth" has a small gland at the end of its vein. Native to eastern Asia, this introduced tree has been planted extensively as an ornamental. It often is successful in crowded cities where many other trees will not grow. In contrast, in a forest it sometimes is considered to be a "weed" tree when it crowds other species. The wood has no commercial value.

Tree Size height 50' - 75' diameter 2' - 3' Bark Twig Branch