Description of the ailant plant, general rules for planting and care in the open field, breeding methods, possible difficulties when growing in the garden, interesting facts, application, photos and types.
Ailant (Ailanthus) is referred by botanists to the Simaroubaceae family. This tree-like representative of the flora comes from the territory of the southern and eastern Asian regions, it also grows in natural conditions in the south and east of Europe and the Australian continent. Based on the information obtained from The Plant List database, the genus contains only seven species.
|Breeding methods||Seed and vegetative (cuttings or offspring)|
|Open ground transplant terms||April to May|
|Landing rules||Saplings are placed at a distance of 0.3-0.5 m from each other|
|Priming||Loams are preferred, but can grow on any substrate|
|Soil acidity values, pH||Any|
|Illumination level||Well-lit location or partial shade|
|Humidity level||Drought tolerant, but moderate watering is recommended|
|Special care rules||Unpretentious|
|Height options||15-30 m|
|Flowering period||June July|
|Type of inflorescences or flowers||Large panicle inflorescences|
|Color of flowers||Greenish|
|Fruit type||Seed lionfish|
|The timing of fruit ripening||September-November|
|Application in landscape design||As a tapeworm or in group plantings, for the formation of alleys|
|USDA zone||4 and up|
Ailant got its name thanks to the word in one of the Indonesian dialects "ailanto", which translates as "tree of the gods". However, on the territory of Russia and neighboring countries, you can hear how the plant is called “Chinese ash”, “heavenly tree” or “Chinese elder”, as well as “chumak”, “stinker” or “vinegar tree”. There are also such popular nicknames as "paradise-tree" or "divine tree".
As mentioned above, all types of ailanths have a tree-like shape and a deciduous crown. Their sizes are quite large, and there is also a high growth rate. When the plant is adult, its height can approach 15 m with a trunk diameter of about 40 cm. The root system of the "heavenly tree" is quite powerful, penetrating into the soil to a great depth. This contributes to the fact that the "Chumak", which prefers a large amount of moisture, can get useful substances and water even on dry days.
The bark covering the trunk of the ailant has a grayish-brown color, and over time, its surface begins to cover the grooves. The crown of the Chinese ash usually takes on an ovoid shape. All representatives of this genus are characterized by high frost resistance and easily tolerate a drop in temperature to -35 degrees below zero.
Such trees are able to live up to the age of one century, reaching about this moment a height of 25-30 m. Thus, in one rainy spring-summer period, ailant branches can lengthen up to 2-5 m. The foliage can reach a length of 0, 4-1 m. The leaf plates on the branches are arranged in a regular sequence. Their size is large, the shape is pinnate. The leaves are composed of leaflets, which slightly resemble palm leaves.
The number of leaf lobes in ailant leaves varies from 9 to 41 pieces. The tops of the lobes are obtuse. The upper surface of the leaves is glossy, the back has a slight roughness. The color of the leaves of the initially saturated green color by June acquires a dark red hue.When the foliage begins to unfold, an unpleasant smell spreads around, for which the plant is popularly called "stinker".
During the flowering period (June-July), large panicle-shaped inflorescences are collected from small bisexual flowers at the ailant. The length of the inflorescences can be 20 cm. The petals are painted in flowers in a greenish or greenish-yellow tone, there is also a double perianth. The flower sepals are characterized by partial splicing. There are 5–6 sepals in a cup. The petals are much longer than the sepals. There are also five petals in the corolla. Five pairs of stamens are formed. The ovary is composed of 5–6 carpels, which can be located freely or grow together.
After the ailant flowers are pollinated, the formation of fruits begins, taking the form of lionfish, taking the place of inflorescences. They are more interesting than flowers, as they stand out among the green deciduous mass in color ranging from golden and pale pink to red and brown. At the same time, there are 5–6 freely located lionfish containing seeds. They, in turn, have the shape of a flat egg. Ailant seeds may have a thin endosperm or be devoid of it. In the fruit, the seeds are placed in the central part. The seed cotyledons are rounded or ovoid. Ripening of fruits occurs in the period from September to November. The seeds are used for medicinal purposes.
ImportantSeed material of ailant should not be used for food, as it has poisonous properties.
Among all representatives of the ailanthus, the species is the highest (Ailanthus altissima), which is also characterized by both a high growth rate and aggressiveness in distribution, so if you want to start such an unpretentious, but interesting plant on your site, you will need to take care of limiting its growth.
In addition, I am glad that such representatives of the flora can perfectly cope with any climatic conditions and weather changes (such as drought or frost), even after especially harsh winter months, "heavenly trees" quickly restore the lost decorative effect of the crown. And also they are not afraid of gas pollution and air pollution in urban conditions, therefore "Chumaks" are actively grown both in large garden plots and in parks.
General rules for planting and caring for ailant outdoors
- Landing place It is recommended to choose a well-lit "Chinese ash", but a place with partial shade may be suitable. Wind gusts do not harm the "stinker", but it is required to provide protection from the draft. The question of choosing a site should be approached with great care, since the "heavenly tree" reacts very negatively to the change of both the ground and the level of illumination. In strong shading, growth will begin to slow down noticeably.
- Priming for planting ailant, anyone, even sandy or crushed stone, is suitable, despite the fact that the "Chinese elder" loves moisture very much. The acidity of the soil also does not play a role, this representative of the flora can grow normally even on a saline substrate. But it was noticed that for better growth and flowering, planting should be carried out in loamy and rather moist soil so that there is enough water for the roots. If the soil is poor, then when planting, it is recommended to mix it with organic fertilizing (ash or manure).
- Planting ailant held in spring (April to May). A hole is dug so deep that an earthen ball surrounding the root system of the "heavenly tree" would fit into it. It is advisable to leave the lump without destruction, so as not to expose the roots to injury. Then the seedling is installed in the prepared recess so that its root collar is flush with the soil in the area. All the voids around in the pit are filled with soil mixture, and its surface is slightly compressed. Then the plant needs abundant watering.If all planting conditions are met and the soil is selected correctly, then 3-4 weeks are given for the adaptation period. It is important to remember that ailanth is distinguished by its aggressiveness in distribution, somewhat resembling a vinegar tree (deer-horned sumac). Even a small part of its root can become a source of abundant growth. Therefore, when planting, you need to think about limiting the root system. It is possible to lay pieces of iron sheets in a circle in the planting hole, which will serve as an obstacle to the growth of root processes. Or install a bucket (plastic or metal) in the pit without a bottom, where the landing will be performed.
- Preparation of medicinal raw materials. Parts (foliage, flowers, bark and seeds) of ailant are often used to prepare various medicinal potions. For example, seeds should be picked only when they are well ripe (that is, between September and November as they ripen) and dried thoroughly before use. They are full of bitter substances such as quassin and ailantin. Foliage, on the other hand, is recommended to be harvested from June to mid-summer. Ailant bark is best harvested during the summer season, when it is easiest to separate it from the wood. Seeds and deciduous mass must be dried under a canopy in shade, since raw materials dried in the sun lose many useful active substances. An attic space may also be suitable for drying, but so that there is good ventilation there. Dry ailant bark in any way, but so that the temperature does not exceed 70 degrees. A sign of the readiness of the raw material is its fragility. Then all the medicinal material is folded into linen bags or glass containers and stored in a dry, dark and cool place.
- Watering. When caring for ailant, this aspect should also be paid attention to, despite the fact that the plant is characterized by drought tolerance. Soil moistening should be moderate; it is better to use warm water, heated under the sun. Collected rainfall or collected water from a river is the right choice. In order for the "heavenly tree" to absorb moisture well, it should be dug in once every six months.
- Fertilizers. Although in nature, "Chinese ash" can grow on rather poor soil, but when caring for ailanth in the garden, it is worth using top dressing that will ensure good growth and flowering. The first time they feed the tree when planting. Then you can use both organic (compost or manure) and mineral (for example, Kemiru-Universal) preparations. The next time ailant is fertilized a year later, with the arrival of the spring period. The choice of the composition of dressings will largely depend on the characteristics of the soil.
- Wintering of ailant. Although the plant does not differ in demanding care and tolerates frosts well (it is not afraid of lowering the thermometer column to -35 degrees), for young seedlings it is worth taking care of shelter. To do this, the trunk is insulated and roofing material is wound over the covering material so that small animals do not gnaw it in the winter.
- General advice on care. When growing ailant, it is not required to exert great effort, so the plant, like any representative of the garden flora, is recommended timely watering and loosening of the soil in the root zone, feeding and rejuvenation. For the last operation, you can cut the "Chinese maple" under the stump, leaving the strongest of the shoots intact. Subsequently, there will be an opportunity to form a beautiful trunk. Periodically, it is worth cutting down the root growth, otherwise the "heavenly tree" can fill the entire territory of the site.
- The use of ailant in landscape design. Since the "Chinese ash" is distinguished by its high growth rate and the ability to withstand drought and polluted city air, such a plant can be planted in home gardens or in parks."Heavenly tree" will look good as a tapeworm in the middle of a lawn or in group plantings, you can even form an alley with the help of seedlings.
Read also about planting and caring for toxicodendron outdoors.
Aylant breeding methods
It is possible to grow a "Chinese elderberry" independently by seed and vegetative method. In this case, the latter includes rooting cuttings or jigging root suckers.
Propagation of ailant with seedsUsing this method, it is recommended to be patient, persistent and accurate. But, even if all the requirements are met, there is no guarantee that the seedlings will appear and grow strong at all. With the arrival of spring, you can start sowing the collected seed material. But before this procedure, you will need to prepare both the soil and the seeds themselves. Presowing preparation of ailant seeds requires 2–3 days of soaking in warm water. To prevent the water from cooling down longer, it is recommended to periodically change it or use a thermos.
After the specified time has passed, it is recommended to select a landing site. For sowing, a 3x3 m bed must be prepared. Before sowing, the soil must be carefully dug up, the remnants of roots and clods must be removed, then fertilized. Top dressing can be wood ash or manure. After fertilization, the entire substrate is dug up again. A day later, they start sowing ailant seeds. Usually, 4 kg of seed is used for one linear meter. Seeds are planted no deeper than 5-7 cm. On top of them you need to sprinkle with a thin layer of the same soil and water.
After 20-30 days above the soil surface, if all conditions are met correctly, the first ailant sprouts can be seen. Care will include watering, weeding and feeding young plants. So in just a year of growing season, the height of such seedlings can reach 1-3 meters.
Some gardeners sow ailant seeds immediately after harvesting in seedling boxes filled with peat-sandy soil. After the seedlings sprout, they are transferred to unheated rooms. When the seedlings get 2-3 true leaves, they are picked on peat pots with nutritious soil. Then, young plants of the "heavenly tree" are grown indoors for another 2-3 years, so that when they get stronger and grow up with the arrival of spring heat, they can be transplanted into the open ground.
Ailant propagation by shootsThis method makes it possible to get young seedlings of the "paradise tree" rather quickly. Near the "Chinese ash" over time, shoots are actively developing, originating from the roots of the plant. A seedling is selected and its root system is separated from the parent specimen. Separation can be performed with a sharpened shovel, and then, having dug in the "delenk" in a circle, remove it from the ground. The transplant is carried out to a place prepared in advance. If the soil is selected correctly, and the plants will have timely moisture, then adaptation will take place in 14–20 days.
Reproduction can also be carried out by dividing the root system or replanting shoots.
See also recommendations for breeding a fat woman.
Possible difficulties when growing ailant in the garden
You can please gardeners who want to start a "heavenly tree" on the site with the fact that this representative of the flora is practically not affected by diseases and does not suffer from attacks of harmful insects. However, when grown in the northern regions, experienced gardeners recommend insulating the ayllant trunk for the winter. To do this, you must first wrap the trunk to a height of about 1–1, 5 m with cardboard, and then cover it on top with roofing felt that rodents and other small animals cannot gnaw.
A special problem is the aggressive spread of this representative of the flora, both by undergrowth and by self-seeding.Here it is recommended to carry out regular pruning and timely removal of inflorescences, until their place is taken by lionfish.
Read also about possible difficulties when caring for torrey in the garden
Interesting facts about the Ailant tree
On the territory of China, the foliage of the "Chinese ash" is used in the process of feeding the caterpillars of the ailant silkworm, an insect by means of which silk threads are obtained for the production of coarse silk.
Ailant is actively used in parks and gardens because of its property, like a walnut, to serve as an "air filter", cleansing the air around itself from dust and gas pollution. Also, the untidy smell of deciduous mass is able to drive away harmful insects.
In China, due to the color of the ailant wood, the plant is treated with special worship and therefore is called the “tree of the gods”. This is because it was customary to make items used in religious cults from such material, which has a pinkish and white color, or to produce snow-white paper of very high quality. Today, China and the United States have large areas in which they are engaged in the cultivation of ailant for the paper industry.
In the old days, the essential oil obtained from the flowers of "Chinese ash" was used for embalming, due to the fact that the aroma of the component that is part of this substance is somewhat similar to the smell of lily of the valley. That is why such substances are used to compose incense or other essential compositions.
Since the symbol of Thailand is the ailanth silkworm, which requires the deciduous mass of this plant to feed, the trees are grown for this purpose as well. But since these insects are not domesticated, such production remains handicraft, although it is possible to get from silk threads not only coarse, but also very high-quality silk fabric.
In China and neighboring Asian countries, ailant juice, which has a resinous consistency, is usually used for the production of paints or varnishes.
On the territory of European countries, "Chinese ash" was brought from China by a Jesuit monk de Incarville, after which the plant was planted in the botanical garden (apothecary garden) of Chelsea in Great Britain. When several decades passed, lush thickets appeared from one tree, easily spreading through the fruits of lionfish throughout the southern regions of England and further to lands with a warm climate.
The plant is distinguished by unprecedented resistance. So in the 60s of the last century, at the Karadag biological station, ailant thickets were completely destroyed, and a rather significant asphalt layer was poured over the site. But after a year, cracks appeared on the asphalt pavement, through which sprouts of the "paradise tree" appeared.
The use of ailant for medical purposes
Since the "Chinese ash" grows in nature in China, its properties have long been known to folk healers. And in the same place the plant is considered quite valuable. Bark, foliage and seeds have actions that can fight inflammation, viruses and fight germs.
Root shoots, bark and leafy mass of ayllant are characterized by the presence of such active components as alkaloids and saponins, tannins and lactone simarubin, sterols and coumarin heteroside, as well as bitter substances, which contain such a unique substance as ayllantin.
ImportantIf a person is allergic, then when working with ailant foliage or simply upon contact, there is a possibility of rashes on the skin.
Even official medicine in the recent past (approximately in the 70s of the twentieth century) used the fruits of ailant as a component of such remedies as "Angigol" (or "Echinora"), which were prescribed for the treatment of angina.
Homeopaths, based on flowers, bark and branches of ailant, make remedies for the treatment of diphtheria and scarlet fever, and similar drugs help to get rid of urolithiasis, kidney stones and cholelithiasis.This is because under the influence of the active substances that make up the plant, excess fluid begins to be removed from the body. Basically, fruits (seeds) are used, which also help with hemorrhoids.
Today, the Chinese official medicine uses ailant foliage, due to the large number of active substances as an antiviral and insecticidal drug. Therefore, drugs are prepared from bark and wood for the treatment of skin problems: lichen, leishmaniasis or pendin ulcers and others. On the basis of the bark from the trunk of the "paradise tree", you can prepare agents that have an anthelmintic effect, as well as those that contribute to the treatment of intestinal disorders and diseases such as cholera, salmonellosis and dysentery. At the same time, Chinese women used ailant drugs to regulate the menstrual cycle.
But when using drugs from the "Chinese elderberry", the following contraindications should be taken into account:
- individual intolerance of the patient to the components that make up the parts of the ailant, especially in case of allergic reactions;
- any trimester of pregnancy and lactation;
- the child's age of the patient.
Since infusions on the seeds, bark and foliage of ailant are characterized by the fact that they become poisonous in large quantities, it is important not to violate the indicated dosage.
ImportantIf there is no great need, but a person not familiar with the action of the "paradise-tree" should not use its parts for medicinal purposes, since in our latitudes there are a large number of its natural substitutes.
Description of aylant species
Ailant the highest (Ailanthus altissima)the most common species of the genus. The area of natural distribution falls on the lands of China, but is grown both in Europe and North America. It can form thickets at the side of the roads, settle in ravines and near abandoned buildings. It is characterized by aggressive distribution, requires restrictions in cultivation. The growth form is tree-like, the height is 20-30 m.
The foliage grows on the branches in a regular order. Its outlines are odd-pinnate, the length does not exceed 0.6 m, but in the ailant shoots, these indicators can reach a meter. In this, the leaf plates of the highest ailant are like palm leaves. Because of this, in the United States, the plant is often called the "ghetto palm". When foliage grows, it spreads an unpleasant smell around.
Flowers that form in the first two summer months are unisexual and fragrant. Of these, paniculate inflorescences are collected on the tops of the shoots, reaching a length of 0.2 m. The fruit is a lionfish, with poisonous seeds.
Ailanthus giraldiiin terms of external characteristics, it is quite similar to the previous view. It is represented by a deciduous tree with a height of 10–20 m. The branches are dense gray-white or gray-brown, pubescent at a young age. Leaves are pinnately dissected with a length of 30-60 (-90) cm. There are 9-16 (-20) pairs of leaflets in them. Petioles 3–7 mm, pubescent. The outlines of the leaf lobes are broad-lanceolate or sickle-lanceolate, their size is 7-15x2, 5-5 cm. The color of the foliage on the upper side is gray-green, densely white due to pubescence. The reverse side of the leaf plate of ayllant Giralda is dark green, naked; downy hairs may be present on the veins. The bases of the leaves are wedge-shaped, oblique, both edges are 1- or 2-toothed. The tops of the leaf lobes are pointed.
When flowering during April-May, panicle inflorescences are formed, reaching 20-30 cm. Fruiting occurs in September-October. Fruits in the form of lionfish are 4, 5-6x1, 5-2 cm in size. In nature, the species occurs in rare or mixed forests in the mountains of Gansu, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan.
Ailanthus vilmorianaor Ailanthus vilmorinianus differs in stunting and the maximum height is 18 m. When the shoots are young, their surface is covered with thorns. Leaf plates can be up to 1 m in length, they are made up of leaf lobes of oblong-lanceolate outlines.
Ailant glandulosa (Ailanthus glandulosa)Represents trees more than 10 m in height.Branches, when young, with soft thorns. The leaves are dissected-pinnate, 50–90 cm, with a violet-red petiole and thorny. There are 8–17 pairs of leaf lobes, their arrangement is opposite. The outlines of leaflets are lanceolate-oblong, about 9-15 (-20) x 3-5 cm in size. On the upper side, the foliage of ailant glandulos is gray-green, hairy; on the back side, leaf lobes are glabrous, except for pubescent veins, the base is broadly wedge-shaped or somewhat rounded. Each edge is 2–4 serrated. When flowering, panicle inflorescences about 30 cm long are formed. Fruits reach 5 cm. In nature, the species is found in rare forests on mountain slopes or in valleys at an altitude of 500-2800 m. Territory Hubei, Sichuan, Yunnan.
Ailant triphysa (Ailanthus triphysa)Evergreen tree, usually 15–20 (-45) m high. Feathery leaves, 30–60 cm; there are 6–17 (-30) pairs of leaflets; pubescent petiole, 5–7 mm. The leaf lobes are ovate-lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate. Their size reaches 15–20x2, 5–5, 5 cm, thinly leathery, the base is broadly wedge-shaped or slightly rounded, oblique, the apex is pointed. Above, the foliage is slightly pubescent or bare. When flowering, panicles are formed in the leaf axils, shortly pubescent, 25–50 cm long. In flowers, the bracts are small, ovate or deltoid, 5–7 mm. The calyx is 5-lobed, the lobes are shorter than 1 mm, deltoid, up to the length of the tube.
There are 5 petals in flowers in ayllant trifiza, their surface is bare or almost naked. The size of the petals is about 2.5x1-1.5 mm. There are 10 stamens in the flower, inserted at the base of the disc; the filaments are curved, the lower part is hairy. Since the flowers are bisexual, the filaments in female flowers are 1–3 mm, in male flowers 3–6 mm. Anthers in male flowers reach 1 mm, shorter than in female flowers. Lionfish are 4, 5-8x1, 5-2, 5 cm in size, both tips are slightly obtuse. The seeds are flat, surrounded by a wing. Flowering occurs in October-November, fruiting in June-March.
In nature, Ailanthus trifiza is found in mountainous regions, in rare or dense forests, along roadsides; below 100-600 m. Growing territory China, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam.
Related article: How to plant and care for a tuyevik in open ground
Video about aylant and its application:
Photos of ayllant: