Tree of heaven itself is an Asian invasive pest, and now we have a huge incentive to eliminate it. Spotted lanternfly flock to it, and it seems necessary to complete their life cycle. However, lanternfly will feed on a wide range of trees, plus crops like grapes. The massive congregations suck juices out of plants and literally rain excrement on anything below (think cars, decks). Attraction of the lanternfly for tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is so strong that a single tree can be used as a trap tree and treated with insecticide to kill multitudes of lanternfly. Most people, however, will want to kill their tree of heaven. Here’s how you can identify them: The leaves, when crushed, have a repugnant odor described as rotten peanut butter. On the very long compound leaves, each leaflet at its base has a small projection with a swollen gland. Bark is smooth (not rough like a walnut or nut trees). The female trees have hanging clusters of flat seed pods (samaras). If you need help identifying a plant, you can always send us a photo.