En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Agave attenuata Poisonous?
March 12, 2015 - Is Agave attenuata (foxtail agave) poisonous to horses or humans?
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Woodcreek TX
January 27, 2012 - I would like to attach a photo of a weed in my lawn and have you identify it. How do I send a photo? I have been told it may be ground ivy. Please tell me how to kill it without damaging the lawn.
view the full question and answer

Non-native banana plants dying back in Rocklin CA
March 15, 2010 - I bought a home last July in Rocklin, CA that had several banana plants growing in the yard. They died back during the winter frost. We pruned them back to the ground and placed mulch over the top. ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Meyer lemon problems in Dripping Springs, TX.
July 02, 2014 - I have a Meyer lemon that looks very sick. The leaves, limbs, and fruit all have brownish gold raised spots that are the size of a pin head. The spots on the leaves seem to run along the center of t...
view the full question and answer

Pruning non-native peach in Austin, TX.
June 18, 2015 - I planted two five gallon Texas Star peach trees last February but didn't have the nerve to prune them back to knee height. After having been convinced that this is a good thing to do, I'd like to k...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center