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mutant tree of heaven?

Posted by adidas 6/7 (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 6, 14 at 7:52

This was not here last yr!

So, EXTREMELY fast growing "tree". Has invasive written all over it! What is it?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

Ensuring that no deer will touch it!


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

Looks like wild Honeysuckle.

It will outgrow every other shrub you've got ... and reseed itself (with the help of the birds) all around your property.

I'm in the process of getting rid of a bunch of it now ...


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

Similar but these are growing like trees and they have nasty thorns...aren't honeysuckles more vine-like?


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

Not a honeysuckle.....looks like Aralia spinosa

Here is a link that might be useful: Aralia spinosa


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

Thanks....you almost got it BUT it's not Aralia spinosa ( I wish!)...it's Aralia elata....the Japanese version and highly invasive!


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 6, 14 at 11:58

adidas, FYI....the genus lonicera (honeysuckle) includes shrubs and climbers, not all are vines.


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

There is a Japanese version of devil's walking stick? How can you tell the difference?


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

The leaflets of Aralia elata are pubescent on the underside and the veins run into the marginal teeth. Can't really make out either of those details in the images.


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

Morz, Thank-you for the info...I did not know that! I always have images of sweet smelling vines when I think of honeysuckle!

Esh: What I've read this morning says that the Japanese version is a fairly new invasion....seems so new that it's not even listed as being found in VA (gov't database). They say it's hard to distinguish from the native one...I thought the leaf shape was different from A. spinosa and looked more like pics of A. elata that I saw on the web but maybe I'm wrong?

Does A. spinosa grow 5ft in a yr? These things were not here last yr but there are suddenly 5 of them roughly 4-6 ft tall...sounds invasive.

If you think I'm wrong please let me know!


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

Thanks Lycopus....running up the driveway to pull off some leaves!


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

Well, if by pubescence you mean fuzzy to the touch or having visible little hairs, it is fuzzy on top of the leaf but not under the leaf (unless the hairs are not visible to the naked eye). There are small spines that run along the central vein under the leaf but I'm not sure what you mean by veins running into the marginal teeth. Marginal teeth are teeth on the edges of the leaf? I think they do...please see pics.

This is bottom of leaf.


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

This is the top.


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

One other (possibly very stupid) ?

When I cut the branch to photograph the leaves I found some little green grubs (moth grubs?) ...would there be grubs on the A. elata? I know many non-native species provide nectar for insects but (correct me if I'm wrong) aren't grubs/caterpillars a little more species specific?

Running back up driveway to put grubs back on possibly nasty invasive tree....


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

The keys mostly say the main veins run all the way to the teeth. In A. spinosa they apparently break up into smaller veins and in some descriptions they tend to curve before they reach the edge. I've only seen A. spinosa in the field so don't have enough experience comparing the two to give a definitive ID. The lateral veins do appear to branch quite a bit, and the lack of hairs on the underside of the leaf wouldn't seem to support A. elata. Some keys also say that the petiolules (leaflet stems) are over 2 mm long in A. spinosa and shorter in A. elata.


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

I'm on the fence about the hairs....when I went to return the grubs to the tree I noticed that the smallest leaflets were def. fuzzy underneath but it seems that the "fuzziness" is absent on the larger ones. I've looked at so many leaf veins I'm getting a headache. I can't find any sources that indicate that A. elata has reached VA but who knows maybe this is the first case...robin eats berry in Philadelphia and heads south....*sigh*


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

The only sure way to sort out Aralia elata and A. spinosa is by the inflorescence; spinosa has a central floral axis, alata has multiple flower-bearing stems, no axis. But as somebody once told me "if it spreads like wildfire it is alata". Spinosa is rather well-behaved, not invasive.


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

That's what I feared...I won't be here when it flowers but maybe I can get my husband to whip out his cell ph and get a pic. Unfortunately, things tend to grow wildly here whether they are normally well behaved or not because the soil is moist most of the time and it is a really nice loamy mix....I like a mess so that's ok....but no tree should grow 5 ft in 6 months! Do you have experience w/A. elata?


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RE: mutant tree of heaven?

Butterfly and moth larva are referred to as caterpillars, although some are called worms (inchworm, tomato hornworm, armyworm, etc.).

Beetle larva are called grubs and are usually in or near the soil.

Many moth caterpillars eat a wide variety of plants.


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