Forest EcologyGeneral SilviculturePlant Taxonomy

Ailanthus excelsa Roxb

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Ailanthus excelsa Roxb. Family


Ailanthus excelsa Roxb. English Name

Heaven Tree

Ailanthus excelsa Roxb. Local Name


Ailanthus excelsa Roxb

Ailanthus excelsa Roxb. Description

A large, deciduous, fast-growing tree. It reaches heights of 18 to 24 m with diameters of 0.9 to 1.37 m. The leaves are compound, and long, approximately 30 to 90 cm. The bark is rough and greyish brown in color. The white tinged flowers are borne in large panicles. The fruit is a papery, winged samara 3 to 5 cm wide. Each samara containing one or two seeds. Flowers occurs in February and May, while fruit matures between April and June. It is moderately disease and insect free, subject to defoliation by caterpillars and attack by white ants (termites). Stem breakage by strong winds is not uncommon. It is reproduced from seed, cuttings and root suckers. Seed cannot be removed from the samara without some damage. Fairly even to coarse textured, straight grained. Soft, non-durable having specific gravity of 0.43.

Ailanthus excelsa Roxb

Ailanthus excelsa Roxb. Distribution

The tree is native to India. In Pakistan it is occasionally planted in Sindh. Forests of N.W.F.P. and the Punjab should introduce the tree in their areas. A moderately intolerant tree that will stand some shade. It grows best on well drained soils. It does not do well on heavy soils or water-logged sites. It is adapted to a precipitation zone of 400 to 600 mm/yr or more, in a temperature range of 2 to 40°C and is frost hardy. Young seedlings can be damaged by frost. It prefers a semi-arid sub-tropical, to sub-humid, hot tropical climate usually at low elevations.

Ailanthus excelsa Roxb

Ailanthus excelsa Roxb. Uses

A fast growing tree, used as an avenue or garden tree in the Sindh. It would have some value as a farm forestry tree since it is ideally suited for shelterbelts. Also used as fodder and food, packing boxes, shelterbelts, and medicinal (bark as a tonic and febrifuge).

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