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Roy W. Burge is a member of the Overland Park Coalition who lives in the unincorporated Milwaukie area off Linwood Avenue

An invasive tree is spreading quite fast in the Milwaukie area called the "Tree of Heaven," which is a name I don't like to call it.

PHOTO COURTESY GOOGLE MAPS - A large Tree of Heaven specimen of an invasive species from China seen from Bell Avenue in northern Clackamas County.These leafy trees, originally from China, destroy foundations and sewer pipes, as well as produce toxins in the soil that prevent native plants from establishing themselves. They spread by seeds (325,000 to 350,000 per tree) that are paper thin and "helicopter down" as they fall from the tree, or by resprouting off of roots.

Milwaukie's Code Compliance Department has identified Tree of Heaven as an invasive species and encouraged residents to remove them. Please remove starts by digging them up entirely as soon as possible. If you have a large full-grown tree in your yard, please consider getting rid of it and grinding the roots very soon.

Trees of Heaven grow very fast and can reach 80 feet tall. It is imperative to grind as much of the root system as soon as possible. Be persistent, and together the community can prevent these trees from taking over Milwaukie and surrounding areas.

This tree is especially visible taking over property along the east side of Bell Avenue, north of Johnson Creek Boulevard. Also it is on the north and south sides of Southeast Alberta Street.

This area is well-positioned to pick up the east wind, which can carry Tree of Heaven seeds into eastern Milwaukie and beyond. If this area is left standing, it will become a forest.

I am asking for help getting rid of the main sources of Tree of Heaven seeds in the metro area. I have cut down over 200 of them, some 5 feet in diameter at the base.

Please contact me if you can help at 503-775-6339 or at 503-984-5015.

Roy W. Burge is a member of the Overland Park Coalition who lives in the unincorporated Milwaukie area off Linwood Avenue.

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