Learn about our spotted lanternfly control programs

Some Tips on Identifying the Tree of Heaven

Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is a common invasive plant first introduced in the late 1700’s as an ornamental tree in the Philadelphia/Baltimore/Washington DC area. This fast growing tree is native to China and the far-and-away favorite of the Spotted Lanternfly.

Ailanthus can grow in a wide variety of areas but is especially common along road sides and other “waste areas” such as vacant lots. You may also find Ailanthus in any previously disturbed area which is reverting back to a wild state.

Tree-of-Heaven typically grows in single-sex colonies (all trees within the colony are male or female) and once established, a single tree can quickly over take an area through “sucker sprouts” emerging from the expansive root system. This tree also produces allelopathic chemicals in the roots and leaves which hinder native vegetation growth. The females are prolific producers of seed and a female tree as young as two years old may produce seeds.

Below are some pictures to help you identify Tree-of-Heaven on your property. It is important to distinguish between Ailanthus and several native “look-a-likes” such as Sumac and Black Walnut – both of which are very important trees to native wildlife.


Pinnately compound, 1-4’ long with 10-40 leaflets arranged opposite each other along a central stem. When crushed, leaves produce an offensive odor.



When young the bark appears smooth with a faint greenish cast. As the tree matures the bark begins to resemble the skin of a cantaloupe.



Clusters of samaras (wings) on the female Tree-of-Heaven are about 1-2” long and somewhat twisted. The clusters may continue to hang on the tree through out winter.


Control of Ailanthus is very difficult due to the extensive root system which is able to quickly replace any trees that are simply cut down. In fact, removing one tree could produce hundreds more! Treating with a herbicide to kill the root system first and cutting afterwards is the best course of action is best left to a professional tree service. For more information on controlling Tree-of-Heaven visit extension.psu.edu

How much does it cost to keep your trees healthy?

Not as much as you think! Contact us today for a free evaluation and estimate from our ISA Certified Arborist!

Get Free Estimate

OR call (610) 854-8261 today!

Our Locations

130 Pennsylvania Avenue
Malvern, PA 19355

1001 Daisy Point Rd
Pottstown, PA 19465

Contact Us

24 hour answering service - call anytime!
Phone: (610) 647-6001
Fax: (610) 647-6007
Send us a message: Click here

Office Hours

Monday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: 7:00am – 1:00pm
Sunday: Closed

Top Rated Business by HomeAdvisor HomeAdvisor Elite Service Award - Lang's Pest Control HomeAdvisor Screened and Approved Award - Lang's Pest Control 1 Year Award - Lang's Pest Control

Get a Free Estimate

To receive a free estimate, please fill out the form below and one of our representatives will contact you shortly. Please allow up to 3 business days for an estimate. For faster service, give us a call at (610) 647-6001 anytime!

Request an Estimate

We are serious about privacy. We will never share your information with third parties. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information.