By José Ricardo Morales Poole
¿Who am I?
Hello, everybody! Perhaps some of you already know me, my name is Ailanto, although everyone knows me as Ailanthus altissima, something like “tree of heaven” or “tree that reaches the sky”. Can you guess why? Some of us can reach 27 m, not bad for a tree like me, don’t you think?
You can find me in the EXOTIC INVASIVE SPECIES Catalogue (EEI). But… what is an EEI? Well, Law 42/2007 defines me as “that which is introduced or established in an ecosystem or natural or semi-natural habitat and which is an agent of change and a threat to native biological diversity, either because of its invasive behaviour, or because of the risk of genetic contamination”.
Yes, in China where I come from, I play an important role in the balance of the ecosystem, but almost 8,000 km from my home, I am a threat to all native biodiversity. If you’re wondering how a plant can travel that distance, join me on the journey of invasive alien species!
Invader for sale at a good price
The truth is that I am closer than you can imagine. Although from 1 December 2013 it is forbidden to sell all the species in the EEI Catalogue, I only have to go to one of the very well known online buying and selling platforms and with a simple click I have already bought my little invader.
BUT REMEMBER! Invasive Alien Species are the second cause of biodiversity loss.
“RELEASING INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES (IAS) INTO THE WILD IS NOT A GAME”
“Invaders Team” to the rescue!
But, you may be asking yourself, what can you do? Your collaboration is fundamental. Come and join the Invasive Team at LIFE Followers! Fighting Invasive Species is everyone’s job.
If you are a follower and you are concerned about the loss of biodiversity, this is your project! From the Invasive Team we carry out actions to control and eradicate IAS in the Natura 2000 Network, and we explain to you how we are doing it! Ailanto, once established, is very difficult to remove. It sometimes persists even after slashing, burning or herbicide treatment.
Extracting and cutting
To begin with, we should remove the seedlings as soon as possible, preferably when the soil is wet to facilitate the extraction of all the roots. In adult individuals, periodic felling should be carried out, which, while not resulting in the death of the tree, does prevent the continued production of seeds. One adult specimen can produce up to 350,000 seeds per year!
But if you think this was enough, nothing further from the truth. Ailanthus can produce asexual vine and root buds, even at a distance of 15 m from the mother plant. Therefore, to be effective, we must combine mechanical methods with phytocide applications. Try your artistic skills by smearing the stumps with a brush, but instead of paint, use small doses of glyphosate.
The leaves and bark contain substances with allelopathic and herbicidal action (mainly ailanthone), which are toxic to many species, contributing to the reduction of native vegetation, either by competition or by being subject to low herbivore pressure.
Oh and don’t forget the most important thing, protect biodiversity by having fun!
Write a message via Telegram to 680524692 and we will give you all the information to get started.
Our “Follower Coordinator” José Ricardo Morales Poole ( Pepe 😊)
and remember …#FollowNature
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