Tree of Heaven is a fast growing tree that reaches heights up to 70 feet when mature. The tree's leaves are close in appearance to sumac, with some of its foliage measuring 3 feet long. Some trees are confused with walnut trees, but unlike walnut trees, the Tree of Heaven does not yield nuts or fruit. Instead, both male and female plants produce panicles, long flower clusters similar to oats or lilacs. The female flowers are odorless and are generally preferred over the male type. Its bark is brown and its leaves turn orange-red in the autumn. A prolific grower, Tree of Heaven thrives in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8 where it grows best in dry soils and full sun. Tree of Heaven was originally grown as a street tree because of its tolerance to air pollution, ability to thrive in poor soils and its rapid growth. The tree grows up to 5 feet per year and in its early stages resembles a palm tree. What makes this tree valuable, aside from its exotic appearance, is its ability to grow quickly in areas where other trees fail to thrive. Its lifespan is 30 to 70 years, which is considered short-lived for a tree. However, the Tree of Heaven will provide your yard or garden with much needed shade while longer-lived trees mature. Originally from China and Taiwan, the tree was domesticated as an ornamental in 1820 and planted throughout New York. The Tree of Heaven is the tree referenced in Betty Smith's novel "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." Above all, this tree is a survivor in harsh conditions, although it does not survive moist soils or flooding. Gardeners find the tree beneficial because it attracts honeybees and other pollinators. A delightful addition to new yards and gardens, the Tree of Heaven is easy to grow and rapidly adds lush vegetation to your landscape.