Iberianature Forum

Tree for id

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Offline quentin

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« on: November 15, 2012, 19:35 PM »
Could someone identify this very common tree for me please. They are all over the place in the Alpujarras region of Andalucia, frequently lining the roads. What my photograph doesn't show is the seed pods (keys?) that most of the trees have now. I initially assumed it was a type of Sumac because of its suckering nature but now I think it may be a type of ash. Evidently I am more or less clueless when it comes to trees.

Offline Luis

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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2012, 16:52 PM »
Hi,
I think it's an Ailanthus altissima, an ailanto in Spanish.

Offline quentin

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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2012, 20:30 PM »
Luis,

Thank you very much. I've been searching high and low to find the name of this tree. Having just researched it a little I assume it was encouraged in this area to provide food for silk worms along with Mulberry trees.

Andy

Offline Luis

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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2012, 22:27 PM »
Hi Andy,

I'm not an expert on the topic, but the Ailanthus altissima is considered an intruder species in Spain. It grows quickly, and it is able to overcome the dry and hot summers of the Middle and South part of the Peninsula. Although most people don't know anything about this tree, I think nobody is using it for any purpose.
Its flowers smell strongly and the smell is considered disgusting. Personally I don't find the smell so bad for a while, but it is too strong and the trees are rarely seen in any garden.

Luis