Invasive plants: the Ailanto or Tree of the Gods

The Ailanto , whose scientific name is Ailanthus altissima , is a tree native to China. It has become very popular in hot climates around the world.

Its rapid growth and its resistance to pollution make the Ailanthus a species that can become highly invasive in many places.

It can reach a height of up to twenty-seven meters, and live for fifty years. It is deciduous, which means that in winter it loses its leaves, and in spring it sprouts again.

Its trunk is not very thick; about a foot thick in adulthood.

It has medicinal properties. So much so that it is used as an astringent, anthelmintic, rubefacient.

In numerous countries, such as Spain, the United States, or Australia, it has become an invasive species. Its planting in public gardens, possession, and its commercialization is prohibited, since it reproduces very easily and quickly.

It is very resistant to environmental inclemencies, to contamination, and also has a great ability to regrow (take out shoots). From an early age it bears abundant fruit, and the seeds disperse very easily. Also, unlike other trees, the mortality rate of the first year of age is very low in this species.

It is a plant that reforests a land without problems, so much so that in a very short time it becomes the only species in the place.

The Ailanto is not a forest species. It breaks the natural balance of the ecosystem in which it is established, preventing other plants from growing normally, and that there may be a diversity of native fauna, causing fewer and fewer animals and insects to go to the place.

If we find one in the forest, it is recommended to notify the Environment team of our community so that they can take the necessary measures .

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