Thread: ID'ing tree of heaven vs natives

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  1. #1

    ID'ing tree of heaven vs natives

    Pardon my stupidity, but how does one differentiate between tree of heaven and trees such as hickory or sumac? I look at pictures online, but they seem to look the same to me.
    ________
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
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    RE: ID'ing tree of heaven vs natives

    They confuse me too. If you crush the leaves, TOH leaves smell bad. This time of year the sumac, which is the most similar to TOH in my opinion have those big fruit things sticking out that are are a reddish color.
    TOH also gets to be much much larger. Sumac is more like a shrub.

    As for hickories, their leaves are larger and there aren't nearly as many leaves in a leaflet. They don't usually inhabit the same places that sumac and TOH do.

  3. #3
    Oak
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    RE: ID'ing tree of heaven vs natives

    It's also mistaken for black walnut.

  4. #4

    RE: ID'ing tree of heaven vs natives

    Walnut, has many small teeth on each leaflet as well and sumac but not all sumac types.

    While Tree of heaven has mostly smooth leaflets and many times has two notches at the base of each leaflet.
    How to tell between Black Walnut and Tree of heaven:

  5. #5

    RE: ID'ing tree of heaven vs natives

    thanks for the info everyone!
    there are actually a few categories of trees I confuse. There is anything with a leaf like a chinkapin oak, and then this group. I'm just afraid of pulling up a good native thinking it is an invasive or vise-versa.

    What would be funny if I took some leaves and mashed them in my hand to see if it was stinky tree of heaven and it turned out to be poison sumac.
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
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    RE: ID'ing tree of heaven vs natives

    TOH looks very exotic kind of like bamboo. It's also simlar to bamboo in that it forms thickets that grow tall. You can also look at the bark. On poison sumac, which really doesn't look anything like TOH, the bark is typical camo pattern and coloration that is typical of native trees.

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