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

Mexican feathergrass from Pflugerville, TX
January 23, 2013 - How deep are the roots of Nassella tenuissima? I'm looking for something that could possibly discourage my neighbors' bermuda grass from encroaching into my native plantings.
view the full question and answer

Non-native Ruellia brittonia in Raleigh NC
August 23, 2009 - I have discovered Mexican Petunias this year. I LOVE THEM! Beautiful plant. However, they are so tall and after a rain are leaning badly. Should I tie them back? Will they get stronger as they ma...
view the full question and answer

Male or female Jatropha curcas from Brownsville TX
August 16, 2012 - How do know the sex of a young Jatropha C. plant? how many weeks before you can tell a boy/girl plant ?
view the full question and answer

Pruning of Grape Kool Aid Plant in California
August 03, 2008 - I have a Grape Kool Aid plant and was told it would grow to 6 or 7 feet tall, but it is well over that and I need to know if I can prune it and if so how?
view the full question and answer

Replacement for non-native St. Augustine in San Antonio
May 26, 2011 - I have a large oak tree on one side of my front yard. St. Augustine grass does not grow there because of the shade. What do you recommend as a replacement for the St. Augustine? I would like to send...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center