Showing posts from October, 2023

Tree of Heaven and the Spotted Lanternfly

Juvenile spotted lanternfly (nymph) Photo by: Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State University, Did you know that the invasive tree of heaven is the favorite host plant of the spotted lanternfly? It’s important to know the connection between these two species as they are quickly becoming a significant concern in our region. The tree of heaven is native to China and was introduced to the United States in the late 1700s. It was initially valued as a fast-growing ornamental species that tolerates a wide range of site conditions. Despite the species commonly being sold through nurseries, it fell out of fashion due to its weedy nature and foul odor by the mid-1800s. The invasive species continued to spread and affect native ecosystems across most of the country. Tree of heaven leaves, leaflets, and seed clusters. Photo by: Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Trees can grow 80 feet or more in height and up to 6 feet in diameter. The bark is light brown to grey and rese