Ailanthus altissima at Heath Park

Ailanthus altissima 0

Ailanthus altissima
mid August 2015

Ailanthus altissima 1

Ailanthus altissima
late October 2015

Grid reference ST 17386 79810
Common name Tree of heaven
Origin North China
Deciduous Yes
Status Wales Champion 2015
Height 18M August 2015
Girth 198cm August 2015
Reference 282

This tree is on the western boundary of the park, opposite 33-34 George V Drive West. It has winged seeds in the late summer and therefore is a female tree.

Ailanthus altissima bark

Ailanthus altissima bark
August 2015

Ailanthus altissima leaf

Ailanthus altissima pinnate leaf
mid August 2015

Ailanthus altissima seed

Ailanthus altissima seeds late in season
mid September 2015

General tree description

Ailanthus altissima is a tall, fast-growing tree reaching heights of 30 metres. It has smooth, dark grey bark and huge leaves, 30 to 60cm or more, pinnate with up to 20 pairs of leaflets. They emerge pink but mature to dark green. The flowers are yellowish green or cream plumes appearing in mid summer. Ailanthus altissima is dioecious, with male and female flowers being borne on different individual trees. Male trees produce many more flowers then females, making the male flowers more conspicuous, and they emit an unpleasant odour while flowering. Female trees have huge bunches of fruits similar to ash-keys, each fruit having a seed at its centre. The seeds are initially green and ripen to red in late summer.