As a child I have fond memories of a tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) that grew on the edge of my parents herbaceous border. I loved its fury stems and its fiery orange leaves in the autumn. So I was pleased to find one in our garden when we moved in 12 years ago.
But it has invaded the lawn somewhat, so this week I grabbed my saw and cut it down. And on the same day I read that it is becoming a pest too in the countryside as it can out-compete the native plant species around it. Sightings of this and other alien species should be reported to the non-native species secretariat (and no, this isn’t an early April fool!)