Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Capstone Project

Degree Name

M.S. in Geographic Information Science

Organizational Unit

College of Natural Science and Mathematics, Geography and the Environment

First Advisor

Steve Hick


Denver, Colorado, Ailanthus altissima, Reduces biodiversity, Distribution and abundance of Ailanthus, Global Positioning System (GPS)


Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle, also known as Tree of Heaven, is a non-native tree found throughout North America. The competitive advantages of Ailanthus make it a formidable invader that reduces biodiversity, especially in urban environments. In these areas, Ailanthus can cause structural damage to buildings, pavement, and other infrastructure such as plumbing. Although Ailanthus can commonly be observed throughout neighborhoods of Denver, Colorado, its prevalence and frequency are not well documented. The purpose of this study was to determine the distribution and abundance of Ailanthus among selected urban, residential areas and parks within the City of Denver. This was accomplished by surveying neighborhoods using GPS equipment and documenting occurrences. Specifically, this study focused on the adjoining neighborhoods of Capitol Hill, Cheesman Park, Country Club, Speer, and Washington Park. The data collected during this study provides an understanding of where current populations of this weedy species exist in these neighborhoods, and suggests that Ailanthus is spreading at an alarming rate. This study aligns with the city’s current agenda of preserving that quality of the canopy and can assist foresters to further investigate and manage Ailanthus in Denver.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jenny Todd


Received from author

File Format



English (eng)


45 pgs

File Size

5.6 MB