Professional photographer Marcus Manley proves once again that you can’t photograph urban decay in Detroit without showcasing our favorite tree, Ailanthus altissima, in this lovely b&w winter shot: As the buildings tumble down, the trees grow up.
Submitted by Manny I have always been fascinated by the Ailanthus tree since I was a kid growing up in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a rough inner city section of Boston. I used to crush the leaves in my hands and smell its intoxicating aroma. I used to daydream about possible medicinal and or industrial uses for… More Ailanthus The Official Plant of Hip Hop
Who among you be Ailanthus, The Witness-Who-Reaches High? If you question, you are elm beaten down by exhaust or calloused feet If you spring up in expectance, you are the frond of Ailanthus Absurd in its giving Of shade to the dreamless street. Who among you be Ailanthus, The Witness-Who-Reaches-High? Who among you be fair… More Witness
Gentle readers, there is a rock band by the name of Cracker, and this band, they have a song where they mention our tree of interest. Solely for the sake of research, I present the lyrics for you below:
By Adrienne Rich Ailanthus, goldenrod, scrapiron, what makes you flower? What burns in the dump today? Thick flames in a grey field, tended By two men: one derelict ghost, One clearly apter at nursing destruction, Two priests in a grey field, tending the flames Of stripped-off rockwool, split Mattresses, a caved-in chickenhouse, Mad Loyâ€™s last… More Open-Air Museum
Ailanthus must have been widely planted by New York City in the 19th century. The great American author Henry James mentions Ailanthus in his description of Washington Square in the book of the same name (1880), excerpted by PBS. The ideal of quiet and of genteel retirement, in 1835, was found in Washington Square, where… More Henry James and Ailanthus
Gardening With Nature by James van Sweden, the foremost american landscape architect of the day along with his partner Wolfgang Oehme. In the first chapter he describes his main influences then goes on to tell how he got started back in l971 when he asked Oehme to help him landscape the backyard of his old… More James Van Sweden
John Steinbeck, the great American author, had occassion to notice Ailanthus. He describes them in his essay “The Making of a New Yorker” for the New York Times in 1943. The very first time I came to the city [New York] and settled was engineered by a girl. Looking back from the cool position of… More John Steinbeck and Ailanthus