Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Tree of heaven: an unwanted guest in forest ecosystems?

Abstract

Invasive tree species such as tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) play an increasing role in the forest ecosystems of the Mediterranean and the southern slopes of the Alps. In this article we report on the recent development in Switzerland and discuss possible management strategies, including an integration of tree of heaven in areas where eradication seems impossible. Once entered and established in a forest stand, tree of heaven may be a forced silvicultural option due to its unexpected capability to persist and regenerate under half shade, to survive and overcome dry summers and to develop dense albeit monospecific stands.