The ash tree is a common variety of tree that grows in many countries around the world. These hardwood trees have an ornamental appearance. It is for this reason why people would choose to have one in their garden. If you want an ash tree in your garden or you already have an established tree of this variety, then here is everything you need to know about growing and caring for an ash tree.
- An Overview of Ash Trees
- Types of Ash Trees
- Why Choose Ash Trees?
- Choosing a Spot for Ash Trees
- How to Plant an Ash Tree from a Sapling
- Propagating Ash Trees Through Sowing
- How Fast Do Ash Trees Grow?
- Tips for Caring for Your Ash Tree
- Pruning an Ash Tree
- Ash Trees, Diseases, and Pests
- Harvesting an Ash Tree
- Ash Trees- The Final Verdict
- Kansas Forest Service
- Patmore Green Ash Tree
- Plant-and-Forget Shade Tree, No Fertilizing or Pruning
- Planting & Care
- Green Ash
- What Is A Green Ash – How To Grow A Green Ash Tree
- What is a Green Ash Tree?
- How to Grow a Green Ash Tree
- Fraxinus pennsylvanica: Green Ash1
- General Information
- Use and Management
- Fraxinus pennsylvanica
An Overview of Ash Trees
Ash trees are usually deciduous trees, although some species are evergreen. The appearance of an ash tree can vary, depending on the variety. However, most have oval-shaped, pinnate leaves that are a light-green color with toothed edges and hairs on the lower surface. The leaves of an ash tree appear in spring and are then shed in autumn. Depending on the species, the trees can grow to a height of between 32-feet and 100-feet. The leaves and bark of ash trees are believed to have many health benefits.
Types of Ash Trees
According to Gardenerdy.com there are over 60 species of ash tree across the globe. The most common that are native to the United States include:
- White ash– This is native to northern and eastern regions of the United States and is one of the most common varieties in America. It is one of the tallest varieties of ash trees as it can grow up to 80 feet. It is also known as the Biltmore ash.
- Green ash– The green ash can grow in a variety of climatic conditions, but it is most commonly found in the northern and eastern regions of the United States. They grow to between 40 and 60 feet and have compound leaves with five to nine leaflets.
- Velvet ash– Native to north and southwestern regions of the United States, this species is also known as Arizona ash or Modesto ash. They are a good choice if you want a variety that will grow fast, and they grow to between 30 and 50 feet.
- Black ash– Growing to between 50 and 55 feet, the black ash is native to Eastern Canada and northeastern regions of the United States. The scientific name for this species is Fraxinus nigra.
- Blue ash-The Fraxinus quadrangulate has this scientific name because of its square trunk. They are usually found in the mid-western area of the United States.
- Oregon ash– These trees are often compared to the maple tree because the leaves spread outward from the trunk. They are native to the Pacific Northwest region of America.
- California ash– As the name suggests, this species is native to California. It is also found in Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. This is one of the smaller varieties of ash trees as they grow to around 20 feet.
- Carolina ash– This species is also known by many other names, including pop ash, Florida ash, and swamp ash. They grow to approximately 40 feet and each leaf has between 5ive and seven leaflets.
- Gregg’s ash– Native to New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, this tree is scientifically called Fraxinus greggii. It is more like a large shrub than a tree as it grows to a height of between 10 and 20 feet.
- Pumpkin ash– This tree gets its name from its trunk because the base of the trunk swells in the shape of a pumpkin when it gets wet. It is native to northern and eastern parts of the United States and grows to a height of between 80 and 100 feet. Therefore, it is one of the tallest ash tree species.
Other common varieties that are not native to the United States but can grow in this country include:
- European ash– The scientific name of the European ash is Fraxinus excelsior. Although they are native to Scandinavia, they now grow in most parts of Europe and in southwestern Asia. These are a taller species of ash tree and can grow up to 70 feet.
- Manna Ash– These trees are most commonly found in southwestern Asia and Europe. They are a medium variety of ash that can grow to 50 feet. The flowers of the manna ash are white and not purple like most other varieties. The sap of this tree is sweet and is extracted for medicinal purposes.
- Narrow-leaf ash– The native regions of the narrow-leaf ash are south and central Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia. They generally grow between 60 and 80 feet, although this depends on climatic and soil conditions. This variety is also known as the desert ash, Raywood ash, or claret ash.
Identifying an Ash Tree
If you move home and there are trees in the garden that you did not plant, you may not know which variety of trees you have in the garden. It is important to know the types of trees you are growing so that you can care for your trees properly. Here are some tips for identifying an ash tree:
- Buds– One of the key identifying features of an ash tree is its buds. The buds grow in groups of three. There is a larger bud at the tip of the shoot and an opposite pair of smaller buds a little further back. The buds are a sooty-gray color.
- Leaves – Each leaflet usually contains three to six pairs of light-green-oval leaves with a long tip. There is an extra leaflet at the end, which is called the terminal leaflet. An unusual feature of ash leaves is that they fall while they are still green, rather than waiting to turn brown.
- Flowers– Usually, male and female flowers grow on different trees, but some ash trees have both male and female flowers on separate branches. The tiny purple flowers grow in spiked clusters grow on the tips of the twigs.
- Bark– A young ash tree has a smooth silvery-gray bark. As the tree becomes older, the bark lightens to a beige-gray. Older trees have more pronounces fissures along the bark. Lichens sometimes grow on the bark of an ash tree, and this covers the natural color of the bark.
The Woodland Trust says that ash trees are sometimes mistaken for Rowan or elder trees. The differentiating features are that elder trees have fewer leaflets, while the leaves of rowan trees are serrated.
Why Choose Ash Trees?
There are two main reasons why you would choose an ash tree for your garden. The first is their appearance. You can create an interesting focal point by adding an ash tree as they are elegant trees with lush green leaves. Secondly, these trees need very little care, which means that they are just as good for novice gardeners as for those with plenty of gardening experience.
Choosing a Spot for Ash Trees
According to Nature & Garden, there are two main things to consider when choosing a spot for your ash tree. The first is to find a spot that has good access to sunlight. The second is to make sure you find a spot where the ash tree will not become impeded in the future. This means it should be away from other trees and not close to the walls. Ash trees will grow well in most soil conditions, so you do not need to choose the spot based on the soil type.
How to Plant an Ash Tree from a Sapling
Once you have chosen your spot, you can plant your ash tree using the following steps:
- Dig a hole that is large enough to comfortably sit the clump of roots, ensuring that the soil will completely cover them.
- Before putting the tree into the hole, wet the clump of roots.
- Put the clump of roots in the hole so that the top of the root clump is in line with the top of the soil.
- Pat the soil down firmly around the roots and water abundantly.
Propagating Ash Trees Through Sowing
- Propagating an ash tree through sowing is different from planting a sapling. However, it is still a simple process if you use the following tips:
- Fall is the best time to plant your ash tree seed so that it can begin growing before the cold winter months hit.
- Plant the seed in a nursery pot by pushing it just a few inches into the soil, covering with soil and then watering.
- Inserting a small stick next to the seed in the pot can offer the young ash tree some support.
- Wait until the colder winter months are over before transferring your ash tree to your garden.
- Use the same steps as planting a sapling.
How Fast Do Ash Trees Grow?
You may wonder how fast an ash tree will grow from planting it in your garden. The answer to this question depends on the species of ash tree you are growing, as each species has a different growth rate, according to Home Guides. Growing conditions can also impact on the rate of growth. However, they are one of the fastest growing trees, and this is why they are grown for timber as it is possible to grow more trees quickly to fulfill demand. As a general guide, the average ash tree will grow between 18 and 25 feet in a decade. Depending on the species and conditions, an ash tree will reach its full height in between 16 and 60 years.
Tips for Caring for Your Ash Tree
Ash trees are a great choice for a larger garden because they need hardly any care. These tips can help you maintain the health of your ash tree.
- Ash trees can live in most types of soil without the need to use fertilizer. However, if the soil is extremely poor, you should add a small dose of fertilizer during the first few months.
- Ash trees have growth spurts in spring and bloom from March to May. At the beginning of spring, you need to remover undesirable buds.
- Branches that are growing well need their tips snipping to stop them growing too much.
- Unless you live in a particularly dry area, you will not need to water your ash tree as it will survive on the water it receives from rainfall.
Pruning an Ash Tree
Strictly speaking, ash trees do not usually need pruning. It will naturally develop an elegant shape if you do not prune the tree. Although it does not need pruning, removing fragile branches and dead wood can help it to thrive. If you decide to prune the tree, you should do so in October.
Ash Trees, Diseases, and Pests
There are two main threats to ash trees. The European ash is prone to a type of fungus that leads to ash dieback. In Denmark, 90 percent of the European ash trees died as a result of this infection. It has also affected trees in the United Kingdom. For this reason, ash trees are at risk of extinction in Europe. The other threat is a wood-boring beetle known as the emerald ash borer. In the late 1980s, these beetles were accidentally introduced to North America from Asia. In 15 states of the United States and in Ontario, Canada, millions of trees have died because of this beetle. To combat this problem, experimental research using Asian wasps in underway. The three types of Asian wasps are predators of beetles, so it is possible that they can play an important role in beetle biological control.
Harvesting an Ash Tree
If you wish to harvest the leaves of your ash tree, it is recommended to choose young leaves that are secreting a gummy substance. You should do this between May and June. On the other hand, if you want to harvest some bark, then you should wait until fall. Dry your harvested leaves or bark in a spot that is both dry and well ventilated.
Ash Trees- The Final Verdict
Ash trees are a great choice for a larger garden as they are an elegant tree that grows quickly and needs very little care. There are several varieties of ash tree from which you can choose for your garden, and each has its own pros and cons. An ash tree is quickly established, so it takes very little time for an ash tree to become an interesting feature of a garden.
Kansas Forest Service
Fraxinus pennsylvanica, or Green ash, grows naturally in bottomlands along streams in the eastern one-half of the United States including most of Kansas. It is a hardy tree, adapted to a wide range of soils and climatic conditions. At maturity, it will reach a height of 35 to 45 feet with a broad, irregular crown. Average annual height growth of 12 to 18 inches can be expected under good management.
Leaves, Stems and Fruit
The leaves are compound, 6 to 9 inches long containing 7 to 9 leaflets. They are attached to the twig opposite one another. The leaflets are pointed and have small teeth along the edges. Male and female flowers are borne on separate trees. Fruit is a flat winged seed 1 to 2 inches long and 1/4 inch or less wide. The wing aids in seed dispersal. Bark is ashy gray and furrowed into closed diamond shaped patterns separated by narrow interlacing ridges.
Windbreaks – Because of its moderate size, green ash is versatile in windbreaks. It can be planted as the interior or outside row of a multi-row windbreak. It can also be used for single row field windbreak.
Timber – Green ash is a valuable timber species in Kansas. Its uses include wall paneling, furniture and tool handles.
Firewood – Green ash is recommended in firewood plantations. Its medium growth rate and heat yield provide potential for good firewood production.
Adaptation and Soil
Green ash has adapted statewide and grows best on deep fertile soils along streams. However, once established green ash will persist on dry upland soils.
In row spacing in single row and multi-row windbreaks range from 10 to 18 feet. In a firewood or timber planting, the spacing can vary from 6 x 10 feet to 12 x 12 feet.
One-year-old, bare root seedlings 18 to 24 inches tall are used in tree plantings. Survival and initial growth are very good with proper weed control. Green ash seedlings require direct overhead sunlight.
Green ash borers and carpenter worms can be a serious problem, especially on dry upland soils.
Patmore Green Ash Tree
Plant-and-Forget Shade Tree, No Fertilizing or Pruning
Why Patmore Green Ash Trees?
Once you plant your Patmore Green Ash, sit back and watch the elegant shade take hold. The Patmore keeps its uniform shape without pruning, and since it’s resistant to disease and drought, there’s virtually no upkeep.
And you can enjoy this gorgeous, fast-growing tree without worrying about the next time you’ll need to fertilize or water. Basically, this is the strongest Ash Tree available. The Patmore has been cultivated to be resistant to diseases and pests that commonly plague other Ash Trees. And you don’t have to worry about soil type since it thrives in both wet and dry areas.
The Patmore is iconic in the American landscape, often planted along city streets and sidewalks. Its recognizable kelly-green leaves and rounded crown bring elegant shade to any area, while its bright yellow foliage in fall delivers month-to-month contrast and beauty.
Plus, there’s no fuss and there’s no mess. The Patmore Green Ash doesn’t drop seeds, which means you don’t have to worry about a huge mess in your yard. No mess means even less work for you.
Why Fast-Growing-Trees.com is Better
You can’t go wrong with the Patmore Green Ash Tree. Not only will it grow rapidly without much fuss, but your Patmore Green Ash particularly thrives because of its strong beginning: When you order from Fast Growing Trees, you get a Patmore that boasts a healthy, intact root system and better-developed branching. Now, you reap the rewards of strong growth, delivered directly to your door.
It’s an easy choice, so it’s in demand. Add some easy, classic beauty to your landscape and order a few Patmores today!
Planting & Care
1. Planting: Find a sunny place in your yard (6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily) with well-drained soil. Dig a hole a foot longer and twice as wide as the root ball. Place the root ball in the hole, backfill your soil and then water.
Adding mulch to the base of the tree will help with water retention, though it is not necessary.
2. Watering: Keep your Ash Tree well-watered in its first 3 years. If you get less than 1 inch of rain per week, water once weekly, when the top 2 or 3 inches of soil are dry.
3. Pruning: You can shape the top of your tree by pruning in the spring, though it is not recommended. The Patmore Green Ash Tree maintains a beautiful pyramidal shape without pruning. However, you can remove dead branches, as this will maintain the health of your tree.
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Introduction: Green ash is the most commonly planted ash because of its ability to tolerate a very wide range of growing conditions. If cultivated varieties are used, the problems of germinated weedy seeds and unreliable fall color can be overcome. The large ash leaf is divided into leaflets along a central stem and this structure creates an airy look and pleasant shade. Culture: Green ash shows remarkable adaptability and grows very well under most environmental conditions. It requires full sun. Green ash is easy to grow and has been overplanted. Female trees produce a large number of winged seeds each summer. The resulting seedlings unfortunately become invasive and weedy. Planting male cultivars will eliminate seed production. Pruning to correct poor form and weak branch unions is necessary in young green ash trees. The tree should be pruned in fall. Because its wood is brittle, corrective pruning may also be necessary to repair wind and ice damage. Lilac borers and scale insects can cause significant damage. Ash yellows is occasionally a problem in Kentucky. Other potential problems include leaf spots, cankers, ash flower gall and fall webworm.
- Native habitat: Nova Scotia to Manitoba, south to Texas and northern Florida.
- Growth habit: Prune this tree when young to avoid structural problems. Pyramidal habit in young trees becomes more oval with age.
- Tree size: Green ash is a fast-growing tree, reaching 50 to 60 feet tall at maturity. Spread is about one-half the height.
- Flower and fruit: Clusters of small male and female flowers bloom on separate plants before leafout; female trees produce tan, single-winged seeds.
- Leaf: Green ash has a large leaf up to 12 inches long with five to nine leaflets. Leaves are medium to dark green and become yellow in fall.
- Hardiness: Winter hardy to USDA Zone 3 (possibly 2b).
There are a number of cultivars of green ash. Popular ones include:
- ‘Marshall’s Seedless’ or ‘Marshall’ – Was the most commonly used green ash cultivar for many years. This seedless cultivar is more vigorous than the species and has attractive dark green, glossy leaves with yellow fall color.
- ‘Patmore’ – Is a newer cultivar than ‘Marshall’s Seedless.’ It has a more uniform shape and is slower-growing than the older cultivar.
- ‘Summit’ – Upright form with leaves that are not as glossy and dark as those of ‘Marshall’s Seedless.’ Has good yellow fall color.
Green ash has airy, dark green foliage that casts shade light enough for grass to grow under it. Fall color can also be guaranteed when using selected cultivars of green ash. In winter, this species’ stout, shiny gray twigs bear prominent, hairy, dark brown pointed buds at their tips. The dark buds combined with red-tinged, ash-gray bark that is furrowed into a braided pattern make this tree ornamental in the winter.
The green ash genus name, Fraxinus, is from the Latin name for the Old World ash species. Green ash has a very large native range that extends through central and eastern North America. Although green ash is most abundant in the Mississippi River Valley, a 95-foot national champion is in Michigan.
Green ash is often planted in spoil banks after strip mining has been completed. The compound leaves of green ash emerge late in the spring and are pale yellow-green before becoming medium to dark green. The wood of green ash is used for baseball bats, tennis rackets, tool handles, oars and picture frames.
Male flowers of green ash are susceptible to a gall-forming mite that produces large brown galls that are often mistaken for seeds. These galls persist in the winter and can be unsightly, but they do not harm the tree.
What Is A Green Ash – How To Grow A Green Ash Tree
Green ash is an adaptable native tree planted in both conservation and home settings. It makes an attractive, fast-growing shade tree. If you want to know how to grow a green ash, read on. You’ll also find other green ash information as well as tips on good green ash tree care.
What is a Green Ash Tree?
If you’ve never seen a green ash tree, you may well ask “what is a green ash?” Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) are large ash trees native to eastern North America. According to green ash information, the tree’s native range stretches from eastern Canada down to Texas and northern Florida. It grows well in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 9.
Green ash trees are among the most adaptable trees that are native to this country. The trees grow quickly when planted in a
full sun site in moist, well-drained soils. However, the trees tolerate a wide range of soil conditions.
Green ash trees have compound leaves with 5 to 9 leaflets, each of which can grow as long as your hand. The leaflets grow in a long oval shape with a tapering base. They are shiny green on top, while the lower surfaces are lighter green.
How to Grow a Green Ash Tree
If you are considering growing green ash trees, you’ll need to consider its size. Green ash can grow to 70 feet (21 m.) tall and 40 feet (12 m.) wide. You’ll want to select a planting site with sufficient room to accommodate it.
According to green ash information, the tree’s fruit is a paddle-shaped samara. These pods are attractive and can remain on the tree into winter. However, each contains many seeds that sprout quickly. Since green ash seedlings can be weedy and invasive, good green ash tree care involves removing the seedlings as they appear. This can be time consuming, and many gardeners buy and plant male trees to avoid the problem.
An early step in “how to grow green ash” is selecting a cultivar. Different cultivars offer different tree forms and some have superior fall color. For many years, the most popular cultivar was ‘Marshall’s Seedless’ or ‘Marshall.’ These trees do not produce the messy seeds that require extra green ash tree care. The dark green leaves turn bright yellow in autumn.
For a tree with lighter green leaves but equally good fall color, consider the cultivar ‘Summit.’ Its form is also upright.
Fraxinus pennsylvanica: Green Ash1
Edward F. Gilman, Dennis G. Watson, Ryan W. Klein, Andrew K. Koeser, Deborah R. Hilbert, and Drew C. McLean2
The somewhat irregularly-shaped tree when young becoming an oval with age, green ash will reach a height of about 70 feet with a spread of 45 feet. Upright main branches bear twigs which droop toward the ground then bend upward at their tips much like Basswood. This usually does not interfere with traffic flow beneath the tree since branches do not droop to the ground. The glossy dark green foliage will turn yellow in the fall, but color is often muted in the south. There is a good seed-set annually on female trees which are used by many birds but some consider the seeds to be messy. This fast-growing tree will adapt to many different landscape conditions and can be grown on wet or dry sites, preferring moist. Trees in USDA hardiness zones 8 and 9 may grow 6 to 10 feet in one year when they are young and irrigated. Some cities are overplanted with green ash.
Full Form—Fraxinus pennsylvanica: Green ash
Scientific name: Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Pronunciation: FRACK-sih-nus pen-sill-VAN-ih-kuh
Common name(s): Green ash
USDA hardiness zones: 3A through 9A (Figure 2)
Origin: native to the eastern half of the United States, stretching as far northwest as Alberta, Canada, and as far northeast as Nova Scotia, Canada
UF/IFAS Invasive Assessment Status: native
Uses: reclamation; shade; street without sidewalk; parking lot island > 200 sq ft; sidewalk cutout (tree pit); tree lawn > 6 ft wide; urban tolerant; highway median
Height: 60 to 70 feet
Spread: 45 to 50 feet
Crown uniformity: symmetrical
Crown shape: upright/erect, oval
Crown density: moderate
Growth rate: fast
Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite
Leaf type: odd-pinnately compound; made up of 5 to 9 leaflets
Leaf margin: serrate, crenate, entire
Leaf shape: ovate, lanceolate
Leaf venation: pinnate
Leaf type and persistence: deciduous
Leaf blade length: 9 to 16 inches; leaflets are 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: dark green on top, paler green underneath
Fall color: yellow
Fall characteristic: showy
Leaf—Fraxinus pennsylvanica: Green ash
Flower color: greenish yellow
Flower characteristics: not showy; lacks petals and emerges in clusters on loose panicles
Fruit shape: oblanceolate to spatulate, winged samara
Fruit length: 1 to 3 inches
Fruit covering: dry or hard
Fruit color: green
Fruit characteristics: attracts birds; showy; fruit/leaves a litter problem
Fruiting: matures in the fall
Fruit—Fraxinus pennsylvanica: Green ash
Trunk and Branches
Trunk/branches: branches don’t droop; not showy; typically one trunk; no thorns
Bark: ash gray to gray brown, with corky furrows and ridges in an interwoven diamond-shaped pattern
Pruning requirement: needed for strong structure
Breakage: susceptible to breakage
Current year twig color: brown, gray
Current year twig thickness: thick
Wood specific gravity: 0.56
Bark—Fraxinus pennsylvanica: Green ash
Light requirement: full sun
Soil tolerances: sand; loam; clay; alkaline; acidic; extended flooding; well-drained
Drought tolerance: high
Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate
Roots: can form large surface roots
Winter interest: no
Outstanding tree: no
Ozone sensitivity: sensitive
Verticillium wilt susceptibility: susceptible
Pest resistance: sensitive to pests/diseases
Use and Management
Green ash requires regular pruning when it is young to develop a nice central trunk. It tends to develop a number of dominant upright trunks or multiple leaders if it is pruned improperly or left unpruned. Some nursery operators routinely top them in the nursery to create a bushy tree. This is not a good practice and these trees should not be planted because they will not stay together in a strong storm. Be sure the trees have one central leader (one trunk) and branches which are well spaced along the trunk. If two major branches originate opposite each other, remove one to improve tree structure and strength.
Green ash adapts quite well to city street tree planting pits and other confined soil spaces, probably due to its tolerance to flooded and wet soil. However, extensive use as a street tree could be risky because of potential insect and disease problems, especially borers. Like some other rapidly-growing trees, surface roots can develop and become a nuisance as they lift curbs, sidewalks and make mowing difficult. Planting only in well-drained uncompacted soil may help keep surface rooting in check. Using root barriers around the edge of planting pits and along sidewalks would deflect roots down, encouraging deeper rooting and less maintenance problems. Green ash roots can tolerate the low soil oxygen conditions present at these greater soil depths. Trees transplant easily from field nurseries or from containers and adapt to urban soils including those with high pH, salt and droughty sites.
Seedling grown trees often produce an abundance of seed which can be a nuisance, and female trees often have undesirable flower galls. Superior crown form and branching habit of cultivars makes planting cultivars very desirable. A few cultivars are available and have been tested for eight years in USDA hardiness zone 8a and appear vigorous with yellow fall color. ‘Marshall Seedless’ has some seeds, yellow fall color, fewer insect problems, but is losing popularity due to trees breaking apart, and the population has apparently become contaminated with females since some are setting seed. ‘Newport’ may be superior; ‘Patmore’ is an excellent street tree, straight trunk, good yellow fall color, seedless, USDA hardiness zone 3 to 7. ‘Summit’ is a female with yellow fall color and straight trunk, but pruning is required to develop strong structure; abundant seeds and flower galls can be a nuisance. Cultivars are budded onto seedling rootstocks. ‘Cimmaron’ is a new plant (USDA hardiness zone 3) reported to have a strong trunk, good lateral branching habit, and tolerance to salt. ‘Aerial’ is also new, with a narrow columnar habit of unknown height and spread. The parent was ‘Summit’ green ash.
Borers are common on ash and they can kill trees. The most common borers infesting ash are ash borer, lilac borer and carpenterworm. Ash borer burrow into the trunk at or near the soil line causing tree dieback. Lilac borer causes swellings on the trunk and limbs where the insect enters the tree. The carpenterworm larvae bore into the heartwood but come to the outside of the tree to push out frass and sawdust. Heavily infested trees can be severely weakened. Keep trees as healthy as possible by fertilizing regularly and watering during dry weather.
Aphids are often seen but are usually not serious.
In late summer, fall webworm covers branches with webbing. The nests in branches close to the ground can be pruned out when first noticed.
The ash flower-gall looks like a disease but is actually a mite problem. The mites feed on the flowers causing abnormal growth. The galls dry out and persist on the tree into winter. Apply horticultural oil sprays before bud break.
A rust disease causes distorted leaves and swollen twigs. Small, yellow, cup-like structures, producing yellow spores, appear on the infected areas. Controls are usually not needed.
A number of fungi cause leaf spots on Ash. The disease is worse in wet years and is partially controlled by gathering and disposing of diseased, fallen leaves.
Anthracnose is also called leaf scorch and leaf spot. Infected parts of the leaves turn brown, especially along the margins. Infected leaves fall prematurely. Rake up and destroy infected leaves. Chemical controls are not practical or economical on large trees. Trees in the south can be severely affected.
Canker diseases cause branch dieback and death of the tree when the trunk is infected. Try to keep trees healthy with regular fertilization.
Powdery mildew makes a white coating on the leaves.
Ash ring spot virus causes chlorotic green and reddish spots or rings on the leaves. Infected trees may be stunted and dieback.
Verticillium wilt causes branches of infected trees to wilt and die, eventually the entire tree may die. Keep trees healthy and fertilize infected trees with high nitrogen fertilizer to suppress disease symptoms.
This document is ENH425, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2006 and December 2018. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.
Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus, Environmental Horticulture Department; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Agricultural Engineering Department; Ryan W. Klein, graduate assistant, Environmental Horticulture Department; Andrew K. Koeser, assistant professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center; Deborah R. Hilbert, graduate assistant, Environmental Horticulture Department, GCREC; and Drew C. McLean, biological scientist, Environmental Horticulture Department, GCREC; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county’s UF/IFAS Extension office.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.
Green Ash Tree – Fraxinus pennsylvanica
The most widely planted Ash tree in the U.S. is the Green Ash tree; a tree that is very cold hardy and grows as a native American tree throughout the Eastern United States and westward to East Texas and North to Canada.
As a native American tree the Green Ash was found growing abundantly in Pennsylvania by the great American explorer and botanist, John Bartram, who discovered it flourishing near Philadelphia, PA in 1790.
The Green Ash Tree is a deciduous, fast growing tree that normally reaches a height of 50 to 80 feet with a spreading canopy width of one half the total height. This deciduous tree is cold hardy from zone 2-9, which is an unusual characteristic for fast growing trees, since the tree grows 4-6 feet each year. Most fast growing trees are not very cold hardy, because the new wood tissue of most trees that grow fast is soft and delicate and susceptible to cold damage.
The wood of Green Ash trees forms strong branches, and the density of the Green Ash fibers forms a heavy wood with a desirable mosaic grain that is popular in making furniture. The finished wood grain is also spectacular when used to make guitars and the Green Ash wood creates an harmonious, favorable tonal quality for musicians’ instruments. Baseball bats and tool handles are made from the heavy dense Green Ash wood, and in Northern States, Green Ash is a popular slow burning firewood.
Other uses of Green Ash trees than Shade Trees can be commonly seen as ornamental yard trees, planted on city street, windbreaks in the Western States, and as specimens in public places and in parks or near commercial buildings.
The Green Ash tree is easily transplanted, showing little shock, and the adaptability appears to be unrivaled by other shade trees. Although the Green Ash tree is most commonly found growing as a native tree in wet areas and water logged soils, it will also survive in poor sandy soils or clay. Extreme droughts appear harmless to the Green Ash. In the western U.S. the Green Ash tree is widely used as fast growing windbreaks that grow strong in alkaline soils of salty pH ranges up to 7, but the trees also tolerate acidic pH values as low as 3.
The Green Ash tree is in the Olive Tree (Oleaceae) family, and the smooth bark is colored gray-brown until very old, when it becomes diamond furrowed. The flowers form in the spring and grow into clusters of winged seeds called “Samara”. The Green Ash seeds are excellent food plot trees for birds and many wildlife mammals. The trees form protective cover for wildlife animals and are nesting sites for birds.
The canopy of the Green Ash Trees is shaped pyramidal or globular, and the leaves are opposite-just like the branching habit that shows opposite placement. The compound pinnate leaves are one foot long, and the leaflets are 4 inches long and grow in groups of 7 to 11 along the axis. The bright green leaves are lighter in color underneath and turn into an attractive lemon yellow color in the fall.
The Green Ash tree can live to be 100 years old with a 3 foot trunk diameter. Very few pests or diseases bother the Green Ash tree, and the root system is shallow but extensive and will hold the tree up during windstorms, because of the vast fibrous root system that stretches out underneath the tree.
- Attributes: Genus: Fraxinus Species: pennsylvanica Family: Oleaceae Life Cycle: Woody Country Or Region Of Origin: Canada to Western Central & Eastern U.S.A Distribution: Extending from Nova Scotia to Alberta south to Florida and Texas. Throughout most of U.S. except western states. Fire Risk Rating: low flammability Wildlife Value: The Green ash is a host plant for the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly and many moths. The bark is eaten by rabbits, porcupines, and beavers. Its foliage is browsed by white-tailed deer, seeds are eaten by birds, squirrels, and other small mammals. Play Value: Buffer Edible fruit Pieces Used in Games Shade Wildlife Food Source Wind Break Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems): fire in the landscape. Dimensions: Height: 50 ft. 0 in. – 120 ft. 0 in. Width: 35 ft. 0 in. – 50 ft. 0 in.
- Whole Plant Traits: Plant Type: Native Plant Tree Leaf Characteristics: Deciduous Habit/Form: Irregular Pyramidal Spreading Growth Rate: Rapid Texture: Medium
- Fruit: Fruit Color: Brown/Copper Green Display/Harvest Time: Fall Fruit Type: Samara Fruit Length: 1-3 inches Fruit Description: Fertilized female flowers give way to drooping clusters of winged samaras (to 2” long) that ripen in fall and may persist on the tree throughout winter. Samaras have wing extending less than half body length. Samaras in large numbers, 1″ to 2″ long and narrow, color changes from green to tan as they mature.
- Flowers: Flower Color: Gold/Yellow Green Purple/Lavender Red/Burgundy Flower Bloom Time: Spring Flower Description: The Green ash is primarily dioecious (separate male and female trees). Clusters of apetalous purplish male and female flowers appear on separate trees in April-May after the foliage emerges.
- Leaves: Leaf Characteristics: Deciduous Leaf Color: Green Deciduous Leaf Fall Color: Gold/Yellow Leaf Type: Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately) Leaf Arrangement: Opposite Leaf Shape: Lanceolate Oblong Ovate Leaf Margin: Entire Serrate Hairs Present: No Leaf Length: 3-6 inches Leaf Description: The leaf of the Green Ash features opposite, odd-pinnate compound leaves, each with 5-9 leaflets. Oval to oblong-lanceolate leaflets (3-4” long) are medium green above and below. The foliage turns yellow in fall, with the quality of the fall color often varying considerably from year to year. 7 to 11 leaflets entire to serrate, glabrous to pubescent below. Opposite, odd pinnately compound, up to 1 foot long, 5 to 9 leaflets, each 2″ to 5″ long with smooth or toothed margins. Leaflets are oblong-lanceolate and medium to dark green, glabrous above, pubescent below.
- Bark: Bark Color: Dark Brown Dark Gray Light Brown Light Gray Surface/Attachment: Ridges Bark Description: The bark is gray-brown with shallow furrows and crisscrossing ridges which form x-patterns.
- Stem: Stem Is Aromatic: No Stem Lenticels: Conspicuous Stem Description: Grey and stout, leaf scars. Dark rusty brown, woolly, conspicuous.
- Landscape: Landscape Location: Recreational Play Area Landscape Theme: Butterfly Garden Children’s Garden Native Garden Pollinator Garden Design Feature: Shade Tree Street Tree Attracts: Butterflies Moths Pollinators Small Mammals Songbirds Resistance To Challenges: Deer Drought Fire Rabbits Salt Wind
Texas ash (Fraxinus texensis or F. americana var. texensis) is a handsome shade tree getting up to 30-45 feet high.
Texas ash grows into small shade tree with lush green foliage. (photo by Bill Ward)
Once established, Texas ash is drought-tolerant. The dark-green leaves are opposite and compound with five to seven leaflets. During fall the foliage has nice color. “With redder shades on the outside and yellows on the inside, the whole tree looks like a candle flame” (Sally Wasowski, “Native Texas Plants, Landscaping Region by Region“).
Many botanists believe Texas ash is a variety of white ash (Fraxinus americana), from which it is hard to distinguish. Texas ash has five to seven leaflets, typically 5, while white ash has five to nine elongate leaflets, typically 7. White ash, native to the eastern part of the state, can grow to be a larger tree than Texas ash.
Texas ash is endemic to limestone areas of southern Oklahoma down through North Central Texas and across the Edwards Plateau, including Kendall County. Some Texas ash trees also grow in the Ft. Davis area. Texas ash should do very well in Hill Country-area yards.
Compound leaves of Texas ash. (photo John Siemssen)
This tree is adapted to well-drained calcareous soils. It is hardy, fairly fast growing, long-lived and fairly resistant to pests and disease, and it is the most drought-tolerant of the ashes usually available at nurseries.
The most commonly planted (some say overplanted) ash in local landscapes is the non-indigenous Mexican or “Arizona ash” (F. berlandandieriana), which requires a lot of irrigation, is susceptible to pests and disease, does not have fall color, and is short-lived. Texas ash is a better choice for home gardeners as well as for landscapers and developers in this area.