I had no thought of violets of late, The wild, shy kind that spring beneath your feet In wistful April days, when lovers mate And wander through the fields in raptures sweet. The thought of violets meant florists' shops, And bows and pins,... Read more of Sonnet at Martin Luther King.caInformational Site Network Informational
Home - Origin of Arbor Day   Arbor Day Readings   Arbor Day Celebrations   Arbor Day Programs       Tree Species   Studies of Trees   New England Trees  

Ailanthus Tree-of-heaven Chinese Sumac

Sparsely and locally naturalized in southern Ontario, New England, and


A native of China; first introduced into the United States on an

extensive scale in 1820 at Flushing, Long Island; afterwards

disseminated by nursery plants and by seed distributed from the

Agricultural Department at Washington. Its rapid growth, ability to

withstand considerable variations in temperature, and its dark luxuriant

foliage made it a great favorite for shade and ornament. It was planted

extensively in Philadelphia and New York, and generally throughout the

eastern sections of the country. When these trees began to fill the

ground with suckers and the vile-scented sterile flowers poisoned the

balmy air of June and the water in the cisterns, occasioning many

distressing cases of nausea, a reaction set in and hundreds of trees

were cut down. The female trees, against the blossoms of which no such

objection lay, were allowed to grow, and have often attained a height of

50-75 feet, with a trunk diameter of 3-5 feet. The fruit is very

beautiful, consisting of profuse clusters of delicate pinkish or

greenish keys.

The tree is easily distinguished by its ill-scented compound leaves,

often 2-3 feet long, by the numerous leaflets, sometimes exceeding 40,

each ovate, or ovate-lanceolate, with one or two teeth near the base, by

its vigorous growth from suckers, and in winter by the coarse, blunt

shoots and conspicuous, heart-shaped leaf-scars.

Next: Anacardiaceae Sumac Family

Previous: Simarubaceae Ailanthus Family

Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network