Poster presented at the 2023 SWOSU Research and Scholarly Activity fair.
Trees of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) have invaded Weatherford, Oklahoma. These trees, native to Asia, thrive in compacted urban soils, grow quickly, produce allelopathic chemicals,and reproduce vegetatively underground and through seeds produced asexually; this allows them to spread quickly, outcompeting native plants and disrupting functioning ecosystems. Terrestrial Ecology students at Southwestern Oklahoma State University have mapped over 3000 stems invading nearly 100 residential properties in the neighborhoods surrounding campus since 2011. Replacing Trees of Heaven with native species would greatly benefit wildlife, human health, and soil health. Here we document the invasion and quantify the potential benefits and cost of replacing these trees with natives.
SWOSU Research, Research Fair, Native Plants, Terrestrial Ecology