VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Local experts are spreading awareness of an invasive species to look out for in Vigo County, with a deceptively beautiful name.

It’s an invasive Asian tree known as “Tree of Heaven”.

“With as many native trees that we have there’s really no need to have an invasive Asian tree in your landscaping. And it is all over Vigo County,” Regional Specialist for State of Indiana Cooperative Invasive Management, Amber Slaughterbeck said.

Amber Slaughterbeck is a regional specialist, with “Indiana invasive cooperatives management.” She said this plant can cause harm by spreading rapidly . She said the reason to be on the lookout for these trees right now is because it’s easy to spot the female trees with large
clusters of seeds.

They’re pink in color, and persistent from fall into winter. The leaves are also large, have smooth edges, and are reported by some as having a “rancid peanut butter smell”.

“Invasive species negatively impact all of us whether we know it or not. And so it’s dear to my heart to remove them so that native species can thrive,” Slaughterbeck said.

If you’d like to learn more about identifying these invasive species, you can email Amber at or call 812-229-3539. You can also attend a “Vigo Invasive Management Meeting” held every second Thursday, at 5:30 p.m. at the Vigo County Public Library.