En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - April 07, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native, invasive Tree of Heaven in Central Texas?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Has Ailanthus altissima been reported in Central Texas? I think we have found a few growing right here in Austin amongst a stand of cedars at a residential property off of 1826 (near where 1826 hits 45). We first thought they were sumacs of some sort but they seem too tall and tree-like to be sumacs. They are about 40' feet tall with very gray trunks and they seed out like nobody's business. How can we ever get rid of them? I had not realized they had spread this far west. Help!!!??!!??

ANSWER:

We contacted Eric Becker of the Texas Forestry Dept. who does a great deal of work with invasives in Texas. Here are his comments on your question. For more information on this tree, see this article from the USDA National Invasive Species Information Center Ailanthus altissima.

"Yes, Tree of Heaven is rather common in the urban setting and can even be found in rural areas around old home sites.  I found 77 field listings on the Citizen Scientist page of the Texas Invasives.org web site and I'm sure there are far more locations as yet to be documented.  However, I'm much more concerned about Chinese pistache, chinaberry and Japanese ligustrum.  I've witnessed the ailanthus invasions in the mid south and along the east coast, but I hope our drier conditions will keep it at bay.  Good history and managment techniques can be found here: http://www.texasinvasives.org/plant_database/detail.php?symbol=AIAL "

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native weeping willow in Greenville NY
September 10, 2009 - We live on the border of Zones 5b and 6a and have a weeping willow that grew so much in only 3 years and did quite well. However, there are aerial roots growing on its bark as well as part of the bark...
view the full question and answer

Problem with non-native sweet vernal grass, Anthoxanthum odoratum
June 24, 2010 - Hello there Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about growing Anthoxanthum odoratum known as sweet vernal grass. I'm trying to get Anthoxanthum odoratum, sweet vernal grass, to grow in my yard becau...
view the full question and answer

Identification of non-native wildflower
August 20, 2007 - I am a painter and I need your help. When I was in Pecatonica, Illinois recently I saw a very beautiful blue colored wildflower. I was amazed by its beauty but didn't have a camera with me to take a ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native bermudagrass dying under non-native globe willow in Granbury TX
July 14, 2010 - We have a beautiful globe willow in our back yard with bermuda grass. All the grass is thinning out or dying under the tree. What can we do, is there another glass we could use that blends well with...
view the full question and answer

Shriveling agave from Miami Florida
August 23, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Most upset - My beautiful agave (wish I could have submitted an image) has stared to misbehave. The once first liquid filled leaves, are starting to look more like the skin ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center