Invasive Species Alert: Tree Of Heaven

Invasive species are a problem in the Midwest and United States, from emerald ash borer to Bradford pears. Invasive species crowed out beneficial native plants, harming local ecosystems.

Up Next: Native Landscaping: Trees & Plants To Attract Birds In Missouri

One of these invasive species to be on the lookout for is what is known as tree of heaven. What is this tree and how can you get rid of it?

Tree Of Heaven Is An Invasive Speciesinvasive species

According to the Nature Conservancy, “the tree of heaven was brought from China to the United States in the late 1700s as a horticultural specimen and shade tree”. This tree can grow almost anywhere, growing up to 60-80’ tall. This tree is fast-growing and spreads quickly through suckers and seeds, which contributes to the choking out of beneficial native plants. It also damages pavement and building foundations in urban areas.

All parts of this tree are have an unpleasant odor and the sap is considered toxic. Skin exposure can cause irritation and the sap should not be exposed to open wounds or broken skin.

Tree of heaven should not be confused with native tree species with similar compounded leaves like:

Tree Of Heaven Is Classified As A Toxic Weed

As per the Missouri Botanical Garden, the tree of heaven is classified as toxic weed and should not be planted. “This plant is listed as a noxious weed in one or more Midwestern states outside Missouri and should not be moved or grown under conditions that would involve danger of dissemination.”

Call Hansen’s ISA-Certified Arborists

Tree of heaven is difficult to eradicate, with mechanical removal like mowing being ineffective. Saplings can be removed via herbicides or manual removal. When removing them by hand, wear protective clothing and gloves to prevent exposure to sap. Be sure to get the entire root system of the sapling, as root fragments left behind can grow new sprouts.

For removal, contact the ISA-certified arborists at Hansen’s Tree Service. We are certified, educated, and insured to safely remove invasive trees like tree of heaven from your property.

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