Tree of Heaven Site Requirements
Grows on virtually any soil type from compacted and infertile to soft and fertile.
Tolerates wet to dry soils1.
Does not tolerate shade – but partly shaded is sufficient for its growth.
Tolerant of temperatures ranging from -38°F to 110°F2.
Disturbed sites are a good place to find this tree establishing.
Common on roadways, lawns, railways, sidewalks, hedgerows, streambanks, and in urban environments.
Due to high tree of heaven densities along roadways, railways, and other sites where transportation occurs both within, or between state lines creates an advantageous environment for the spread of hitchhiking spotted lanternflies across the U.S.
Keep in mind that other trees and/or vines like maples, grapes, apples, willows, black walnuts, etc. (some of which are tree of heaven look-a-likes and preferred hosts) can also harbor high masses of spotted lanternflies; many of these tree species are found in areas like parking lots of commercial, residential and industrial areas; it's just as likely to spread hitchhiking spotted lanternflies as they get in, or on a car in a orchard, vineyard, or hotel parking lots.
1. Ailanthus altissima. Fire Effects Information System (FEIS). Taken from https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/ailalt/all.html#3
2. Albright, Thomas P.; Chen, Hao; Chen, Lijun; Guo, Qinfeng. 2010. The ecological niche and reciprocal prediction of the disjunct distribution of an invasive species: the example of Ailanthus altissima. Biological Invasions. 12(8): 2413-2427. 
Last modified: Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 3:40 PM