Tree of Heaven Removals

 

Applicant: The Inland Empire Resource Conservation District

 

Summary: The Mountain Home Village Community first began working with the USFS in documenting locations of the invasive Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) within private properties, primarily due to their location immediately adjacent to Forest Service property. Tree of Heaven is a rapidly spreading species even in the face of ongoing drought, and one providing little to no wildlife benefit in areas where native plants were displaced and out-competed as a result of its presence. This invasive plant infestation is spread across multiple private properties in Mountain Home Village belonging to private homeowners, none of which are eligible for USFS funding or assistance due to their status as non-public parcels. IERCD is able to bridge the gap due to its ability to work on both public and private lands. IERCD has a strong commitment to community outreach, education, and eradication of target invasive species to the best of our ability, particularly in the upper Santa Ana River watershed. 

Project work included coordination with homeowners and updates to existing survey data regarding species presence and degree of infestation. Following preparations, funding allowed for IERCD and SAWA crew time to execute removals over properties involving commitment of owners to long-term maintenance. Funding also allows for return IERCD/SAWA crew time for re-treatments as needed. 

Outcome: A total of 600 Tree of Heaven trees were treated with Basel bark and foliar spray. In addition, approximately 50 larger Tree of Heaven trees were removed for safety purposes. A bonus outcome is that landowners learned about an invasive species that impacts their community and many are taking the initiative to actively re-treat new sprouts.

Partners: United States Forest Service (USFS), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Santa Ana Watershed Association (SAWA), & Mountain Home Village Residents 

Examples of areas infested by Tree of Heaven