Calhoun High School Environmental Earth Science students are asking for help identifying and tagging the invasive Tree-of-Heaven in the area.

"We are trying to identify and tag as many 'Tree of Heaven' (Ailanthus altissima) as we can for the NASA funded statewide research initiative," the students say.

If anyone knows of a tree or trees that look like the pictures, please check for a pungent, burnt peanut butter odor that is best detected when the leaves are crushed between your fingers. The leaf and branch structure look very similar to black walnut so make sure you smell it.

The tree is very invasive and could threaten West Virginia hardwoods and impact the ecosystem by eventually replacing native trees if allowed to thrive.

It is drought, shade, heat and pollution tolerant and tastes bad to almost everything (insects and animals).

If you think you've found one of these trees, please bring a small branch to Mrs. Yoak and her environmental class students at the school for verification and tagging.

The tree is also known as China Sumac and Varnish Tree.

For more info on the tree see