The Tree of Heaven

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  1. Scientific Name: Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle
  2. Habitat: It is mostly found in urban areas, woodlands, forest openings, fencerows, and river sides
  3. Negative Effects: Out competes other plants, produces a poison that prevents other plants from growing, and roots can damage foundations like sewers
  4. Positive Effects: The trees roots and leaves are still used today in traditional chinese medicine as an astringent.
  5. Where It Came From: The tree of heaven originated from China. It was brought to Europe from China in 1743. It was then later brought to America in 1784.
  6. Controlling the Tree: The trees roots must be completely removed. Even the smallest root can cause a new tree to grow.
  7. Miscellaneous Information: The tree of heaven has a long history in China. It was described in ancient chinese medical text books and was in the first chinese dictionary for its resound medical purposes. The tree of heaven also has male and female counter parts, as do most plants. The females can be identified by bearing heavy loads of seeds on the tree. Despite the grand title of the tree of heave, it's not to heavenly. It does produce poison, and does act as a nuisance to other plants and people. The tree of heaven is often confused for the tree of life, which does not live in reality and only exists in mythical fiction. The tree of heaven only lives for less than 50 years, makeing it one of the youngest trees in the world. There is a Japanese drama called Tree of Heaven, but has little to do with the accual tree.