Pest Alert – Tree of Heaven, Invasive Plant

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The Tree of Heaven is an invasive plant brought to this country in the late 1700s. Today the tree can be found on practically every roadside, power line, and field boundary in western North Carolina. The tree causes damage to sewers and power infrastructure.

tree of heaven photo by Dr. Joe Neal, NC State University

Tree of heaven photo by Dr. Joe Neal, NC State University 

Very difficult to kill, the tree can rapidly choke any sunny area and displace native plants. Chopping the trees down simply encourages a profusion of root sucker regrowth. Herbicides are effective. On smaller plants where the leaves can be reached with a sprayer, Crossbow herbicide, which kills broadleaf plants but not grasses, is recommended and readily available. On larger trees, the ‘hack-and-squirt’ application method can be used. Basically, cuts that penetrate the bark are made into trees with a hatchet, and herbicides are applied to the cuts.

hack and squirt tree control

A hatchet and a squirt bottle of herbicide are all the tools you need to implement the ‘hack and squirt’ tree control method.