The USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station has released the latest edition of their “Research Review” publication. The Spring 2014 issue addresses the status of tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) in our forests. The publication is entitled Ailanthus: A Nonnative Urban Tree Is Causing Trouble in Our Forests. The publication documents its growth and spread into a wide range of environments since it was first introduced to eastern North America in the 18th century. Since that time it has expanded throughout farms and woodlands displacing native plant species.
The publication also covers the new research connected with Ailanthus control and eradication. One promising bit of research includes a new biological control method based on a wilt-inducing fungus called Verticillium nonalfalfae. Some of this work was done by a researcher at Penn State by the name of Dr. Don Davis.