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Ailanthus Genus

Tree of heaven

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General Needs

  • LightPart shade
  • HardinessFully hardy (min -15°C)
  • SoilWell drained, Fertile, Chalky
  • Soil pH7.0 to 9.0

Description

Ailanthus genus (Tree of heaven). This genus consists of between 6-10 deciduous trees (the exact number being disputed), which resemble the maple. They are grown for their foliage and 3-5 winged fruits. It is extremely tolerant of urban pollution.

The name of this genus comes from the Ambonese name 'aylanto' which is a combination of the words 'ay' meaning 'tree' and 'lanto' meaning 'heaven'.

Characteristics

Deciduous, Trees

Origin

China, Asia, Australia

Interest and use

Grown for their foliage and 3-5 winged fruits. They are extremely tolerant of urban pollution. The silk spinning moth Samia cynthia lives on the leaves and can be harvested to make silk which is more durable than mullberry silk but which has less of a sheen and the strands are thicker.

Cultivation

To grow as shrubs, cut back hard in spring, after which vigorous shoots bearing very large leaves are produced. They are fully hardy and will need sun or semi-shade in deep fertile well drained soil. To grow as a shrub you need to cut back hard in the spring.

Propagation

You can propagate by seed in the autumn, or by suckers or root cuttings in the winter.

Pests, diseases or disorders

Trouble free.

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