Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The invasion of Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle in Madrid.

Abstract

The tree of heaven is a species naturalized by much of the world. In Spain it is profusely cited only in Catalonia, despite being widely distributed. Until 1980 references in Madrid (province) were limited to the capital; in 1999 it appeared in 40% of the 10 km UTM grid where Madrid is included; and in 2019 at 77%. It appears throughout the territory of Madrid except for areas above 1300 m, being rare in the Sierra Norte and the southwest. Its expansion has been mainly radial from the capital, mainly following roads, with secondary points associated with plantations. In has been scarcely used in gardening, which shows its invasive capacity. It is currently in invasive phase, with local infestations. It invades especially ruderal areas, but it is increasingly common in riverbanks, and even oak forests. The species must be eradicated in areas where its invasion is still incipient.