Archive for September 12th, 2013

September 12, 2013

Ghetto Palm

Ailanthus altissima, commonly known as tree of heaven is a deciduous tree originating from China known for its ability to thrive in inhospitable urban environments; it has acquired the derisive nicknames of ‘ghetto palm,’ ‘stink tree,’ and ‘tree of Hell.’ The tree grows rapidly and is capable of reaching heights of 49 ft in 25 years. However, the species is also short lived and rarely lives more than 50 years.

In has become an invasive species due to its ability both to colonize disturbed areas quickly, including areas of rubble in war-torn Afghanistan, and to suppress competition with allelopathic chemicals. It is considered a noxious weed in Australia, the United States, New Zealand and several countries in southern and eastern Europe. The tree also resprouts vigorously when cut, making its eradication difficult and time consuming.

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