Learn more about Tree of heaven!
The fallen trees along the trail are known as tree-of-heaven. Originally from China, they have spread widely in North America as an invasive species. They are easy to spot by their large seed pods and reproduce quickly, which allows them to push out native species. They also release harmful chemicals into the soil that kill nearby native plants. In addition, tree-of-heaven has helped to increase the spread of an invasive insect called the spotted lanternfly. The lanternflies like to lay their eggs on these trees while feeding on and damaging many native trees.
Spotted lanternfly, an invasive species that is supported by the invasive tree-of-heaven. (Stephen Ausmus/Courtesy of USDA).
The invasive tree-of-heaven seed pods (NOAA).
The invasive tree-of-heaven (Courtesy of USDA).
The fern-like leaves make this tree easy to spot (Matt McIntosh/NOAA).
A tree-of-heaven canopy up above (Matt McIntosh/NOAA).