How to remove an invasive tree species


Posted by justtracy | Posted in Invasives, Trees | Posted on 11-06-2013

I just got a great question from someone: “Help…I am being over run by Ailanthus tree seedlings.  How can I eliminate them?”

Keep in mind this is a non-native, invasive and aggressive tree to Virginia.

You have to control the parent problem or mature trees first. They are extremely adapted to reseeding and creating the seedlings. So unless you take out/remove the parent trees, you will be fighting a never ending fight.

They are hard to kill. For the smaller seedlings and trees the best advice is to dig them out. They are actually fairly easy to remove.

For the really larger trees I would recommend having someone remove them stump and all. I highly suggest using a tree company with a certified arborist. Request the arborist come out and assess your situation to give you a quote.  You can find one via International Society of Arboriculture.

For in-between medium trees that you can’t dig out or if there are too many to pay to have removed, you can cut them down and paint the stumps with a non-selective herbicide with glyphosate as the active ingredient to paint on the fresh cuts. Pour the product in a non-reusable container and ‘paint’ the fresh cut wounds using one of those arts and craft sponges on sticks. It will get into the fresh wound and work down into the roots. I would recommend the products formulated for brush control. This method is more targeted than spraying and helps avoid killing things you want to keep.

You will have to be persistent as most invasive and aggressive species will put up a really good fight…that’s why the are so successful.

Here’s a great resource from the VA Dept of Forestery on Alianthus with tips on how to control/eliminate in your home landscape as well as what they are doing to control it in the state.


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