Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Non-native Bird of Paradise plant (Strelitzia reginae)
November 30, 2008 - I have two Bird of Paradise plants on my lanai (Marion County, FL) and they are both in large pots. Nobody but me seems to like them at my house and I have been asked if I could trim all the leaves o...
view the full question and answer

Deer eating Non-native Asiatic Jasmine in Georgetown, TX
October 22, 2015 - Is there a spray or granular material that will prevent deer from eating asiatic jasmine?
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive carrot wood tree losing leaves in Alpine CA
April 22, 2014 - My carrot wood tree is losing all of its leaves. The tree is about 15foot high & 13 years old. Could it be gophers? The tree was trimmed 1 year ago.
view the full question and answer

Rotating a non-native cypress in its hole in Annapolis, MD
April 02, 2009 - I have a follow up question to a Cypress transplant question from December 28, 2008. We trimmed our 5 1/2 foot Dwarf Hinoki Cypress back too far, and now the side facing the street has some bare spot...
view the full question and answer

List of North American plants grown in other countries
August 17, 2008 - I am working on a childrens story and would like to let the teachers who read this book know where some of the native plants in my book grow throughout the world, or if they grow outside of the USA. p...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.