Tree-of-Heaven Trees

Tree-of-Heaven Trees

About Tree-of-Heaven Trees

Ailanthus altissima, commonly known as tree of heaven, ailanthus, or in Standard Chinese as chouchun (Chinese: ; pinyin: chuchn; literally 'foul smelling tree'), is a deciduous tree in the Simaroubaceae family. It is native to both northeast and central China and Taiwan. Unlike other members of the genus Ailanthus, it is found in temperate climates rather than the tropics. The tree grows rapidly and is capable of reaching heights of 15 metres (49 ft) in 25 years. However, the species is also short lived and rarely lives more than 50 years. In China, the tree of heaven has a long and rich history. It was mentioned in the oldest extant Chinese dictionary and listed in countless Chinese medical texts for its purported ability to cure ailments ranging from mental illness to baldness. The roots, leaves and bark are still used today in traditional Chinese medicine, primarily as an astringent.