Invasive species in N.C.


Scientific name: Ailanthus altissma

Common names: Tree-of-Heaven, China-sumac, varnishtree

Type of organism: Plant or Tree

Origin and spread

The Tree-of-Heaven is native to China and was introduced into the U.S. in the late 1700's. The Tree-of-Heaven's means of introduction was ornamental, meaning that it was brought to the U.S. for horticultural reasons. It also has an ability to produce an overly abundant amount of seeds.


The Tree-of-Heaven tends to crowd out native species, damage pavement and building foundations in urban areas, and can reproduce through roots and produce a chemical that can prevent or kill other plants.

How will we deal with this?

To start, the Tree-of-Heaven can thrive in most environments, so we cant rely on them to die out. The most effective way to control the Tree-of-Heaven is to pull seedlings by hand before the tap roots develop. And avoid planting them in yard.