According to the Sunset Garden Book, the tree that grew in Brooklyn was an Ailanthus tree, or Tree of Heaven. It has naturalized itself over much of the U.S., to the point of being considered a weed tree, but it is still invaluable as an attractive windbreak and shade tree, adaptable under the harshest conditions.
Besides Gene Tierney, Mary Anderson and Jeanne Crain were rumored for the Katie Nolan role, while it was reported that Phil Regan was the leading candidate for the role of Johnny. Alice Faye was the first actress considered for the role of Katie, not Aunt Sissie, according to the Hollywood Reporter in 1943.
Nicholas Ray came out from New York with Elia Kazan for Kazan's directorial debut. Besides his brief appearance in the cast as a bakery clerk, various sources have Ray working as assistant director and assisting Alfred Newman with the score, but studio records officially list him as dialogue director.