How can I determine if a dynamically-created DOM element has been added to the DOM?

UPDATE: For anyone interested in it, here is the implementation I finally used:

function isInDOMTree(node) {
   // If the farthest-back ancestor of our node has a "body"
   // property (that node would be the document itself), 
   // we assume it is in the page's DOM tree.
   return !!(findUltimateAncestor(node).body);
function findUltimateAncestor(node) {
   // Walk up the DOM tree until we are at the top (parentNode 
   // will return null at that point).
   // NOTE: this will return the same node that was passed in 
   // if it has no ancestors.
   var ancestor = node;
   while(ancestor.parentNode) {
      ancestor = ancestor.parentNode;
   return ancestor;

The reason I wanted this is to provide a way of synthesizing the onload event for DOM elements. Here is that function (although I am using something slightly different because I am using it in conjunction with MochiKit):

function executeOnLoad(node, func) {
   // This function will check, every tenth of a second, to see if 
   // our element is a part of the DOM tree - as soon as we know 
   // that it is, we execute the provided function.
   if(isInDOMTree(node)) {
   } else {
      setTimeout(function() { executeOnLoad(node, func); }, 100);

For an example, this setup could be used as follows:

var mySpan = document.createElement("span");
mySpan.innerHTML = "Hello world!";
executeOnLoad(mySpan, function(node) { 
   alert('Added to DOM tree. ' + node.innerHTML);

// now, at some point later in code, this
// node would be appended to the document

// sometime after this is executed, but no more than 100 ms after,
// the anonymous function I passed to executeOnLoad() would execute

Hope that is useful to someone.

NOTE: the reason I ended up with this solution rather than Darryl’s answer was because the getElementById technique only works if you are within the same document; I have some iframes on a page and the pages communicate between each other in some complex ways – when I tried this, the problem was that it couldn’t find the element because it was part of a different document than the code it was executing in.

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