We recently received correspondence from Maz, one of our readers in Germany, who sent us photographs of ailanthus altissima, the tree of heaven. He had previously commented on Leslie’s post about the infamous tree, excitedly mentioning that it was his favorite tree and that he had written an article on it a few years ago for his university magazine!
He commented, “Somehow it always reminds me that it doesn’t matter how bad we treat the environment, there are always plants and animals which can deal with that and will even survive mankind.” But he added: “Still I think treating the environment in a good way is the better option.”
I love this photograph above, with the tree of heaven sapling looking so happily squished into its tiny nook. As I wrote in my followup post to Leslie’s, this tree almost seems to prefer growing out of the most restrictive spaces.
In his email, the subject of which was “Ailanthus-Stories,” Maz sent along 16 photographs he’d taken around the same time that he wrote his article. (The article is in German – if you’d like to check it out, follow the directions he wrote in his comment. Leslie says it is very good!) Since he sent such an abundance of photos, we’ve decided to share them in two installments. Here’s the first half:
Some trees of heaven were discovered “growing out of the underground…”
And some grew from crevices at the base of a wall or sidewalk fixture (one of ailanthus’ favorite spots, I’ve noticed). Maz pointed out that these photographs show how little space the tree of heaven needs:
A close up of the previous plant.
This one’s just been chopped down (not for long…)
And this photograph, Maz wrote, “shows a supermarket; in the back you can see the mothertree of the small one on the roof.” He’s entitled it “Mum + baby.” What a great find!
Stay tuned for the second half of Maz’s tree of heaven photos!