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ailanthus (ālănˈthəs), any tree of the genus Ailanthus, native to the warm regions of Asia and Australia. Ailanthus wood is sometimes used for cabinetmaking and for the manufacture of charcoal. The leaves are a source of food for silkworms, and the bark and leaves are used medicinally. Females of a species called tree of heaven, native to China, are widely grown in European and American cities because of their attractive foliage and their resistance to smoke and soot; the male flowers, however, have a disagreeable odor. Ailanthus is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Simaroubaceae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of trees of the family Sim-aroubaceae. The leaves are alternating, intricate, and nonparipinnate. The blossoms are small and contained in paniculate racemes. There are about ten species in southern and eastern Asia and in Australia. In the USSR three species are cultivated, including the Ailanthus altissima, or the Chinese ash. It is a fast-growing tree cultivated in the European USSR (primarily in the southern Ukraine), in the Caucasus, and in Middle Asia. It grows well even on dry and stony soils. The wood is used for construction, woodwork, paper production, and fuel. In China, ailanthus leaves are fed to caterpillars of the ailanthus silkworm.


Derev’ia i kustarniki SSSR, vol. 4. Moscow and Leningrad, 1958.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Relatively few Asian trees were available for planting when the first edition of Downing's Landscape Gardening book came out in 1841, including: Ailanthus altissima, Broussonetia papyrifera, Ginkgo biloba, Gleditsia sinensis, Magnolia denudata and liliflora (and their hybrid, x soulangeana), Morus alba, Platycladus orientalis and Salix babylonica.
Moreover a strong threat is represented by alien species that occupy considerable surfaces, especially Opuntia ficusindica (1534 [m.sup.2], 6%) and Ailanthus altissima (590 [m.sup.2], 2%).
Interactions between Albizia julibrissin and Ailanthus altissima: two co-occurring invasive trees.
Our previous study demonstrated increased nodulation in Trifolium exposed to root leachates from the Asiatic invasive tree Ailanthus altissima (Simaroubaceae).
An IVI of 56.06, 39.27 and 34.57 was recorded in Populus deltoides, Ailanthus altissima and Ulmus wallichiana, respectively.
Jeong, Ailanthus altissima swingle has anti-anaphylactic effect and inhibits inflammatory cytokine expression via suppression of nuclear factor-kappa B activation, In Vitro Cell.Dev.Biol.-Animal, 46, 72-81(2010)
The most abundant of those include chinaberry (Melia azedarach), tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), and Japanese ligustrom (Ligustrum japonicum).
The forest cover is mixed, primarily consisting of maples (Acer), European black alder (Alnus glutinosa), black locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia), tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), autumn-olive (Elaeagnus umbellata), sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), and red oak (Quercus rubra).
Invasive Scotch broom Cytisus scoparius Invasive Scotch thistle Onopordum acanthium Invasive Spotted knapweed Centaurea maculosa Invasive and noxious Tree of heaven Ailanthus altissima Invasive Yellow star-thistle Centaurea solstitialis Invasive Yellow toadflax Linaria vulgaris Invasive TABLE 10-2 Seed Longevity of Some Weed Seeds NUMBER OF NAME SPECIES YEARS VIABLE Annual bluegrass Poa annua 100 Chickweed Cerastium spp.
Two hundred years ago, a Philadelphia gardener imported the Chinese tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), and Chinese immigrants later introduced it on the West Coast.
douglasii 5b tulip-tree Liriodendron tulipifera 5b sycamore Platanus occidentalis 5b horsechestnut Aesculus hippocastanum 6 European beech Fagus sylvatica 6 tree-of-heaven Ailanthus altissima 6 redbud Cercis canadensis 6 goldenchain tree Laburnum X watereri 6 yellow-cedar Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 6 western redcedar Thuja plicata 6b eastern flowering dogwood Cornus florida 7 sweetgum Liquidambar styraciflua 7b Douglas-fir Pseudotsuga menziesii var.