Ailanthus altissima

Tree of Heaven                                        

147 S. Front Street Columbia PA

Len Eiserer

Tree of Heaven typically is not particu- larly large nor long-lived but this spec- imen is far larger than average. Un- fortunately a vine has been permitted to overtake almost the entire tree (see winter photo) and, if not removed, will no doubt lead to the tree's demise.

Ailanthus is a much maligned species whose virtues -- which are considera- ble -- are typically ignored by its cri- tics.

 

This amazing species, though a native of China, serves as the central meta- phor for the classic book, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."