Tree of Gods, Ailanthus altissima - Characteristics & Care in the garden

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The tree of the gods is not only the fastest growing deciduous tree in Europe, but also boasts a dense high crown with decorative pinnate leaves and red tufted fruits. It thrives on all soils and places only small demands on its location. The deciduous tree originating from China and East Asia is poisonous in all parts. At favorable locations seedlings grow up to one meter in the first year. In old age, however, growth slows down noticeably. Deities grow between 25 to 30 meters and 100 to 150 years old.

  • belongs to the family BittereschengewĂ€chse, to the genus Ailanthus and to Art Altissima
  • Origin in Asia
  • After 10 years the tree is 5 meters high, after 20 years it reaches a height of 22 meters
  • the final height is around 30 meters
  • Growth per year 25 cm to 50 cm
  • the life expectancy is 100 to 150 years
  • its bark is greyish brown with diamond pattern
  • hairy green branches, aged red-brown branches without hair
  • bisexual
  • feathered leaves with up to 25 pairs of leaves
  • intensely smelling male flowers from July attract insects
  • nutty seeds
  • summer green
  • deciduous
  • Roots form streamers
  • toxic
  • Solitary plant and shade dispenser
Location & ground
The thermophilic deity prefers a sunny spot. Due to its spread, care should be taken to ensure sufficient distance to roads and neighbors. The fast growing tree can handle any soil. The more nutrient-rich the soil is, the stronger the growth. But even on barren and nutrient-poor soils, the tree of the gods can grow up to 20 meters high. The ornamental tree is ideal for the city. Air pollution and emissions from industry and traffic are not enough for him. It is resistant to road salt, herbicides and dryness.
buying criteria
As the tree of the gods grows fast, small trees can be considered for the purchase. They get used to their new location better and faster than older trees. Protective bandages around the trunk should be removed before a purchase to ensure an uninjured bark. The ideal root system of the young tree radiates radiant. The roots should not curl up.
The tree of the gods can in principle be planted throughout the year. So that the young shoots do not freeze, the ornamental tree should not be planted in late autumn, when frosts are already threatening. Before planting, the tree is vigorously watered. For this purpose, the root ball is completely immersed in a container of water and left in it until no more air bubbles rise. How to do it:
  • Dig out the planting hole twice the size of the root ball
  • Drain gravel or potsherds into the planting hole
  • Mix excavation with horn shavings or garden compost
  • Apply a layer of mixed excavation over the drainage
  • Put the tree of God into the planting hole and fill the planting hole with the remaining excavation
  • Position three support poles around the seedling and tie the tree with wide ribbons
  • Lock ground, if necessary, fill soil
  • Spread a layer of bark mulch to prevent dehydration
  • Cast tree vigorously
Tip: The support posts can be removed in the third year.
In order to stem the spread of the tree of the tree, which also occurs via root shoots, a barrier can be placed in the planting hole. Professional root barriers are made of a waterproof and frost-resistant geotextile that withstands the enormous thrust of the roots. It is placed around the seedling like a ring and closed with a click system. Attention: Do not put the ring too tight in the seedling!
The care measures for the god tree are not very intense. In the first two years, the tree should be watered regularly. In the growing phase, intensive sunlight should be avoided. For this purpose, the trunk is wrapped with a protection of bamboo mats. Due to the immense growth, the connection to the supporting piles must be checked from time to time and renewed if necessary. Winter protection is necessary in the first years. An adult deity tree can withstand strong frosts down to around -20° C. Tip: The bark of the tree of the gods can burst due to excessive sunlight and is then an entrance gate for pests and diseases.
The poisonous deity tree has many bitter substances and is therefore largely avoided by plant pests. Only the Ailanthus spinner has specialized in the leaves of the tree as a food source. In too dense stocks occurs due to the lack of air circulation often gray mold blight. Then the young shoots and not lignified parts of the tree die off. The use of chemical control agents for gray rot is prohibited in private gardens.
To cut
  • Remove inward growing two
  • Cut off dead wood
  • Remove crossing branches
  • when shortening the shoots cut directly over a bud
Tip: Do not leave stubs and do not cut into the Astring! When cutting you should wear because of the toxicity safety goggles and gloves.
The tree of the gods can be multiplied by shoots and seeds. For a multiplication over shoots a young shoot with three to four pairs of leaves is cut off. He is rooted in potting soil or in a glass of water. The training of roots takes place within a very short time. Then the tree of the gods can already be planted at its future location. Seed multiplication may occur in the fall as the seeds ripen on the fruit stalks. The seed is planted in a container with seedling soil. The young shoot is overwintered frost-free and planted in the spring in the open. Tip: Due to its growth rate an increase of the tree of the gods is easy.
Consider before you buy
The tree of the gods is already on the "black list", as it spreads in many places uncontrolled by the seeds, which carry the wind many hundreds of meters wide. It displaces native plants and houses a new allergy potential.
frequently asked Questions
  • How did the tree of the gods get its name? - The Tree of God was named for its fast-growing growth. In some areas, the tree is also called "sky tree". In northern China, the tree of the gods is also called "spring tree", as it drives out after the winter.
  • Which crown shape is typical for the tree? - This can be individually influenced by a targeted cut. Wild deity trees are broad-crowned and often two-stemmed.
  • Why is it often advised against planting a tree of the gods? - He multiplies very quickly in the garden, sows himself and drives saplings. Within a year, the number of saplings in older trees can be 30 pieces, which can quickly grow up to two meters high.
Worth knowing about the tree of the goddess shortly
  • A tree of the gods is a very fast-growing and beautiful tree, but it is now considered an invasive plant.
  • Repress the native species and thereby disturb the ecological balance.
  • In addition, it causes health problems for humans and therefore should not be better planted in their own garden.
Origin and spread
  • The tree of the gods (Ailanthus altissima) comes from China and Vietnam and spread from there to the whole world.
  • It thrives best in warm countries, but also in urban areas.
  • It needs virtually no care, grows very fast and can grow up to 30 meters in a good location.
  • From June to July appear on this tree yellow flowers that are in long panicles and have a rather unpleasant smell.
  • The tree of the tree spreads through root shoots, which form at the roots near the surface.
  • They can arise many meters away from the tree.
  • Parallel to this, the propagation takes place through seeds.
Fighting the god tree
  • The tree of the gods is in itself a beautiful tree, but is considered by many experts as an invasive plant.
  • It spreads through subterranean roots as well as seeds and is difficult to remove.
  • For this reason, in some European countries, wild trees of this species are removed to prevent their further spread.
  • In Austria and Switzerland, the tree of the gods is already on the black list of invasive neophytes and is systematically fought.
  • In addition, the seeds are poisonous, the bark and the wood can cause allergic reactions when touched.
  • Sensitive individuals also have allergic reactions to pollen. Therefore, it is better to plant another tree in the garden.
Tip: The precipitation of an already existing tree of the gods should best be left to a specialized company. Because especially when felling it often leads to health problems, so protective clothing is definitely recommended.

Video Board: Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) - crown - July 2018.

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