Tree of Heaven

  • Ailanthus altissima on the Barcham Trees nursery

    Ailanthus altissima on the Barcham Trees nursery

  • The small white flower and foliage of Ailanthus altissima in detail

    The small white flower and foliage of Ailanthus altissima in detail

  • Tree of Heaven at Barcham Trees in mid summer

    Tree of Heaven at Barcham Trees in mid summer

  • Mature Ailanthus altissima

Ailanthus altissima

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Ailanthus altissima on the Barcham Trees nursery

Ailanthus altissima on the Barcham Trees nursery

Ailanthus altissima

Introduced in 1751, this fast growing native of Northern China was said to reach for the sky.

In hot summers it is quick to naturalise and it can make fun of growing in truly inhospitable urban or rural environments.

Living up to its common name it is certainly large and broadly columnar in habit. Although not botanically related it produces long ash-like foliage.

Tolerant of air pollution and ideal for street plantings where space permits it is best suited on wide verges or central reservations.

It thrives in all soils.

Old Chinese medicine texts puts great faith in this tree for cures against mental illness or its ability to combat baldness. The roots, bark and leaves are still used today in the Far East to manage all sorts of ills but over here we enjoy it for its fine architectural shape.

Mature heights and crown spread can vary depending on environmental conditions

Mature height: 20m+

Mature spread: 8-12m