Random invasive species images that represents what NISIC does
USDA.gov NAL NISIC Sudden oak death Formosan subterranean termite Yellow star thistle Giant African snail Cactus moth Purple loosestrife
HomeAbout National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC)News and EventscouncilHelpContact Us
 Search the National Invasive Species Information Center
Search all USDA
Advanced Search
Search Tips
Browse by Geography
United States
Browse by Subject
Aquatic Species
Economic Impacts
Laws and Regulations
Manager's Tool Kit
Resource Library
You are here: Home / Plants / Species Profiles / Tree-of-Heaven
Species Profiles


Tree-of-HeavenScientific name: Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle (ITIS)

Common names: Tree-of-heaven, China-sumac, varnishtree

Click image to enlarge

Selected Resources

Native To: China (Fryer 2010)

Date of U.S. Introduction: Late 1700s (Fryer 2010)

Means of Introduction: Ornamental (Fryer 2010)

Impacts: Crowds out native species; damages pavement and building foundations in urban areas (Fryer 2010)

Current U.S. Distribution:



Selected Resources:

Back to Top

Council or Task Force

Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands - Ailanthus altissima
California Invasive Plant Council.
In online book: Bossard, C.C., J.M. Randall, and M.C. Hoshovsky (Editors). 2000. Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands. University of California Press. Berkeley, CA

Invasive Plants of Ohio: Fact Sheet 17 - Tree-of-Heaven (PDF | 306 KB)
Ohio Invasive Plants Council.
See also: Invasive Plants of Ohio for worst invasive plant species identified in Ohio's natural areas

Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual - Tree-of-Heaven
Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council.


Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) - Ailanthus altissima
USDA. FS. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry.

Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE) - Tree-of-heaven, Copal Tree
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Tree of Heaven
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Least Wanted: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas Fact Sheet - Tree-of-Heaven
Plant Conservation Alliance. Alien Plant Working Group.

Texas Invasives Database - Ailanthus altissima

The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Species of the Galveston Bay Area - Tree-of-heaven, Ailanthus, copal tree
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Invasive Species Compendium - Ailanthus altissima
CAB International.

Non-native Species Information: Tree-of-Heaven
Great Britain Non-Native Species Secretariat.

Global Invasive Species Database - Ailanthus altissima (shrub, tree)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Federal Government

U.S. National Plant Germplasm System - Ailanthus altissima
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.

Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) - Ailanthus altissima
USDA. FS. Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fire Sciences Laboratory.

PLANTS Database - Tree of Heaven
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.

International Government

Weeds in Australia - Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Australian Government. Department of the Environment and Energy.

Weed Identification Tool - Tree of Heaven
Brisbane City Council (Australia).

State Government

Tree-of-Heaven Control (PDF | 49 KB)
Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Forest Service.

Field Guide: Invasive - Tree-of-Heaven
Missouri Department of Conservation.

Fact Sheet: Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) (2014; PDF | 238 KB)
New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food. Division of Plant Industry.
See also: New Hampshire's Prohibited Invasive Plant Fact Sheets for additional invasive trees, shrubs, vines, and herbaceous plants

Invasive Species Leaflet - Ailanthus altissima (Tree-of-Heaven) (2010; PDF | 160 KB)
North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Forest Service.

Common Ohio Trees - Tree-of-Heaven
Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Division of Forestry.

Invasive Plants in Pennsylvania: Tree of Heaven (PDF | 256 KB)
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
See also: Invasive Plants fact sheets (scroll to view) for plant species (trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and aquatic plants) that have impacted the state's natural lands

Control and Utilization of Tree-of-Heaven: A Guide for Virginia Landowners (May 2009; PDF | 2.3 MB)
Virginia Department of Forestry.

Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Class C Noxious Weed: Tree-of-Heaven
Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board.


Weed Control in Natural Areas in the Western United States: Tree-of-Heaven (2013; PDF | 223 KB)
University of California. Weed Research and Information Center.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth - Tree of Heaven
Mississippi State University. GeoResources Institute.

Introduced Species Summary Project - Tree of Heaven
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

Ohio Perennial & Biennial Weed Guide - Tree-of-Heaven
Ohio State University. Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Invasive Plant Fact Sheet - Tree-of-Heaven (Nov 2011; PDF | 213 KB)
University of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Flora Project of Morris Arboretum.
See also: Invasive Plant Fact Sheets for additional invasive plants in Pennsylvania

Invasive Plants and Insects: Tree-of-Heaven
Pennsylvania State University. Cooperative Extension.

Invasive, Exotic Plants of the Southeast - Tree-of-Heaven
North Carolina State University. Cooperative Extension. Going Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants.


BioBullies - Tree-of-Heaven
See also: Invasive Species Fact Sheets for the worst trouble-makers in the region, and also for additional trouble-makers for you to watch out for


Fryer, J.L. 2010. Ailanthus altissima. In: Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Ailanthus altissima. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Back to Top
Last Modified: Sep 29, 2016
Bookmark and Share
I Want To
    Read Recent News Articles
    Find Management Plans
    Locate Images
    Find Experts

More ...

    Species Profiles
    Discussion Groups
    Economic Impacts
    Educational Resources
    Image Galleries
    Frequently Asked Questions
    What You Can Do
Media Help
 To view PDF files, you must have Adobe® Acrobat® installed on your computer.

To view multimedia files, you must have Adobe® Flash® installed on your computer.

 NISIC Home | NAL Home | USDA | AgNIC | Agricultural Research Service | Web Policies and Important Links | Site Map
FOIA | Accessibility Statement| Privacy Policy | Non-Discrimination Statement | Information Quality | USA.gov | White House