Angelica or Tree of Heaven?? What is it??

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Loulou, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. Loulou

    Loulou Member

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    I have what I thought at first was a Sumac (those type of leaves and pairings) - told no. Then I figured Angelica tree, again no. Now I have found a photo of the Tree of Heaven in Firefly Encyclopedia of Trees,edited by Steve Cafferty,pub.2005; page 234 Temperate Broadleaves. The photo on this page is very close to what my tree looks like. That would make it an ailanthus. My tree has bunches of flowers in a greenish yellowy shae in bouquets at middle of groups of small branches of leaves. Also later on these bunches of blowers turn to dark red or black berries that birds seem to love.

    I saw another enquiry within the forums of a person with a mystery tree of this sort from Ladysmith and a photo was posted with that one. Mine does not look at all like that. It is not a bush, but definitely a tree at least 15 ft tall, with spiny delicate branches and the leafy branches have thorns. It is prolific and is popping up all over the lawn if not controlled by pulling it out. It is growing in a grove of red cedars.

    Any help to id this tree would be much appeciated.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Tree of Heaven produces winged fruits rather than berry-like ones. Sounds like you have a sumac.
     
  3. Loulou

    Loulou Member

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    Thanks Ron B

    I have also found another description with photos on a site called Dave's Garden which seems like my tree!! Looks a lot like it too. Could be Aralia Spinosa?

    In particular the thorny bark and thorns on stems holding leaves is same as my tree.
    I found a lot of derogatory comments about Ailanthus (which I thought it could be too) as that tree, like mine, propagates by shoots which spring up far from the main tree and are fastgrowing, prickly,determined - keep coming back no matter how many times you cut/mow them down. - - That is not how Sumac reacts is it?

    Other names: Devil's Walking Stick, Hercules' Club, Angelica Tree, Aralia Spinosa.
     
  4. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Contributor 10 Years

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  5. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Contributor 10 Years

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    Just noticed in your last post you mention sumac.
    Sumac is Rhus, in the family Anacardiaceae.
    Aralia is something quite different. It is in Araliaceae.

    If you post some pics someone will be able to give you a deffinite id for sure!
    Hope this helps
     
  6. Loulou

    Loulou Member

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    Thanks Luddite for the ref to that link http://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=10078 ... I went to the link and indeed it does look exactly like my tree so I have an aralia spinosa....devil's walking stick. Not a pretty name, (Angelica would have been prettier)but that is what I have.

    One thing though, the U of Texas site stated it is a shrub but mine is definitely a tree with at least a 20 inch diameter trunk! But again it sends out suckers which if not cut down will rapidly become trees.

    Thanks for the id Luddite.
     

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