The preference is full or partial sun and moist to mesic conditions. Many kinds of soil are tolerated, including those containing loam, clay, rocky material, and sand. This tree tolerates most types of air pollution, although it is somewhat sensitive to ozone. It will also grow in contaminated ground that contains mercury and other toxic compounds. Growth and development are quite fast, although longevity of individual trees is short (usually about 50 years). The roots and foliage secrete a phytotoxic chemical, ailanthione, that inhabits the germination of seeds and stunts the growth of other species of plants. The wide-ranging roots can clog sewer lines and water pipes, and they have been known to penetrate street pavement and uplift the foundation of buildings.