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Tree-of-heavenĀ  (Ailanthus altissima)

Huge twigs. Giant shield-shaped leaf scars with numerous bundle scars arranged in a “U.” Large brown pith, and a smell like rancid peanut butter.

Ailanthus pith

Tree of heaven has large twigs, brown pith, rancid smell.

Tree-of-heaven demonstrates well the “false end bud.” In the photo below, the leaf scar and its associated bud that are at the end of the branch do not terminate the stem. Rather, it isĀ  just the last-formed lateral bud.

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Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus) false terminal bud

Look carefully and you will see a “tip scar” (sometimes called “twig scar”), a small circular scar lacking any bundle scars, that is the remnant of the twig that extended past the last-formed bud before withering away and falling off.

Ailanthus-altissima-twig-tip

Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus) tip scar