Ailanthus

(Question)

Can it be burnt for fire wood? Or is it that unsafe?

(Answer)

Thank you for your inquiry. Tree-of-heaven,  Ailanthus altissima is a fast-growing prolific tree  that  can  take over sites, replacing native plants and forming  dense thickets.  It is native to China and was brought to the United States in the late 1700’s as a horticultural specimen and shade tree.  This tree similar to black walnut  produces a chemical that prevents the establishment of other plant species nearby.

If you are planning on cutting down your tree and burning it in hopes of eradicating this tree I should caution you that this will stimulate the production of  stump sprouts and  root suckers. You may wish to call in a certified arborist; they could cut down the tree, attack the stumps and remove the root system. Regardless of size, it’s best to cut the Ailanthus in the early summer  when its root reserves are at their lowest.

Ailanthus can be burned for firewood however, it is not the best smelling wood. The green branches of Ailanthus have a  high moisture content therefore, it is important that it is dried well before using. When dried properly it is comparable to other preferred hardwoods, such as ash, oak, maple, beech and hickory, for heat value.

You may wish to refer to the following websites for additional information:

 

www.savatree.com/facts-on-firewood.html