Raywood ash root system

Raywood Ash Tree

A Raywood Ash Tree is one of the hottest ones in the landscaping arena these days. Learn how you too can have this wonderful tree in your yard as well.

A Raywood Ash tree is your solution if you’re looking for that one finishing touch to give your already magnificent garden. But before you rush to get one for yourself, read ahead to know some basic facts about this wonderful tree.

Scientific Name Fraxinus oxycarpa
Native to Asia
Shedding Pattern Deciduous
Leaves Initially green, turn red (claret) as they grow, and turn purplish by fall
Flowers Tiny inconspicuous white
Fruit Does not bear fruit
Hardiness Zones Zones 5 to 8 (-20° F to 20° F)

Growth Requirements


This tree can tolerate different types of soil. It grows well in sandy, loam, mildly alkaline, well drained and even in acidic soil.


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Full sun and moderate to low rainfall are the best climatic conditions for this tree. The first month after planting the sapling is very important. In this period, it is important that the sapling is watered almost everyday. After a month, the intervals can be reduced.


Like any other plant, this tree needs regular fertilizers in the initial stages, and then the intervals between the fertilization can be increased.

Using It for Landscaping

Garden Design

A Raywood Ash tree can add grandeur to your garden. If your garden is full of evergreen shrubs and bushes, it can add a dash of color to it at the corners. If you have a flower garden, it can complement it with its canopy.

Parking Lots

They make great borderlines for big parking lots. Make sure the parking lot is larger than 200 feet 2, as the tree can have a huge canopy if not pruned.

Street Trees

Raywood Ash trees lining streets look simply stunning. They also provide ample shade, which helps, especially in summers. Cars from houses which do not have a basement parking facility can park under these trees.


You can plant a single tree in your backyard. It is a great embellishment PLUS you won’t have to worry about your kids playing out in the heat. The tree’s shade will keep them and your house cool.

How to Plant and Care for It

  • The tree may require regular pruning in the first year. Also, you may have to cut out stray branches once in a while. Otherwise, your tree is ready after a year of planting.
  • Plant the sapling and water it daily for the first month.
  • Make sure that the distance between the roots and the foundation of your home is more than (at least) 20 feet.
  • Loosen the soil in the area that you plan to plant the sapling.
  • Use 10-10-10 fertilizer generously in the beginning. This will enrich the soil with the required nutrients for the tree to grow. Since this tree is a fast grower, you won’t have to continue this practice for long. Once the plant is firmly rooted, watering and fertilizing can be done at longer intervals.
  • This tree is generally quite hardy and does not fall prey to diseases that other ash trees fall prey to. However, there is a particular kind of fungal disease which causes a die-back in the tree. This causes the young shoots to die, progresses to older branches and may even consume the entire tree. The best way to avoid such a disease is to provide the Raywood sapling with the optimum growing conditions mentioned above.

A Raywood Ash tree can be a companion for life. It can live up to an average of 80 years! So get your family one of these charming trees and nurture them together.

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Raywood Ash

Raywood Ash

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Raywood Ash foliage

Raywood Ash foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 50 feet

Spread: 25 feet


Hardiness Zone: 5

Other Names: Claret Ash; F. angustifolia


An exceptional variety producing a tall rounded canopy of dark green foliage that turns a spectacular claret red in fall; should be grown in full sun and is moderately drought tolerant once established

Ornamental Features

Raywood Ash has forest green foliage throughout the season. The pointy compound leaves turn an outstanding indian red in the fall. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Raywood Ash is a dense deciduous tree with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and should only be pruned in summer after the leaves have fully developed, as it may ‘bleed’ sap if pruned in late winter or early spring. Deer don’t particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Raywood Ash is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Raywood Ash will grow to be about 50 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 feet. It has a high canopy with a typical clearance of 7 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. As it matures, the lower branches of this tree can be strategically removed to create a high enough canopy to support unobstructed human traffic underneath. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 70 years or more.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

How to Manage Pests

Raywood ash canker and decline

Fraxinus oxycarpa ‘Raywood’ commonly is affected by this disease. Although trees usually are not killed, severely affected ash are often removed because of unsightly dieback, reduced shading, and their potential limb drop hazard.


Dieback of multiple branches throughout the canopy is indicative of Raywood ash canker and decline. Botryosphaeria stevensii can usually be isolated from the dead branches and is believed to contribute to the decline.

Life cycle

The Botryosphaeria stevensii fungus is a weak (secondary) pathogen. It is aggressive and damaging only when trees are stressed, such as by adverse growing conditions. Stressful site conditions and especially moisture deficit predispose Raywood ash to Botryosphaeria damage.


Raywood ash is apparently less drought tolerant than previously believed. Occasional deep watering during the drought season and pruning to thin canopies and reduce transpiration demand may improve the performance of Raywood ash.

Green ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, appears not to suffer from this problem. It is a similar-looking alternative for planting.

Fraxinus oxycarpa ‘Raywood’: Raywood Ash1

Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson2


This Ash is a fine-textured, deciduous tree which is capable of reaching more than 80 feet in height but will more commonly be 40 to 50 feet tall with a 25 foot spread in a landscape, opening into a full, rounded canopy with age. Young trees are somewhat upright or oval. The lustrous, dark green leaflets create a light shade beneath the tree, making it well-suited for use as a large lawn specimen or shade tree. The leaves turn various shades of red to purple before falling in autumn.

Figure 1.

Middle-aged Fraxinus oxycarpa ‘Raywood’: Raywood Ash


Ed Gilman

General Information

Scientific name: Fraxinus oxycarpa Pronunciation: FRACK-sih-nus ock-sih-KAR-puh Common name(s): Raywood Ash, Claret Ash Family: Oleaceae USDA hardiness zones: 5A through 8B (Fig. 2) Origin: not native to North America Invasive potential: little invasive potential Uses: specimen; shade; street without sidewalk; parking lot island 100-200 sq ft; parking lot island > 200 sq ft; tree lawn 4-6 feet wide; tree lawn > 6 ft wide; highway median Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the tree Figure 2.



Height: 40 to 50 feet Spread: 25 to 30 feet Crown uniformity: symmetrical Crown shape: upright/erect, oval Crown density: moderate Growth rate: fast Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite (Fig. 3) Leaf type: odd-pinnately compound Leaf margin: serrate Leaf shape: lanceolate, elliptic (oval) Leaf venation: pinnate Leaf type and persistence: deciduous Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches Leaf color: green Fall color: red, purple Fall characteristic: showy


Flower color: unknown Flower characteristics: not showy


Fruit shape: no fruit Fruit length: no fruit Fruit covering: no fruit Fruit color: no fruit Fruit characteristics: no fruit

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches don’t droop; not showy; typically one trunk; thorns Pruning requirement: needed for strong structure Breakage: resistant Current year twig color: brown, gray Current year twig thickness: thick Wood specific gravity: unknown


Light requirement: full sun Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; acidic; slightly alkaline; occasionally wet; well-drained Drought tolerance: high Aerosol salt tolerance: unknown


Roots: not a problem Winter interest: no Outstanding tree: yes Ozone sensitivity: unknown Verticillium wilt susceptibility: susceptible

Pest resistance: resistant to pests/diseases

Use and Management

Reportedly maintains a central leader in youth but only after competing upright stems and branches have been removed. Be sure to space main lateral branches along the trunk and keep internal secondary branches intact to develop good branch structure. This allows each main limb to develop more fully and could increase durability by increasing taper along main branches. Do not allow major scaffold limbs to grow opposite each other on the trunk as this leads to poor structure and eventually could form a weak tree.

It should be grown in full sun and is moderately drought-tolerant once established. Although trees can tolerate wet sites, they will perform much better in well-drained conditions. Surface roots can be a problem on wet sites and on clay soil but they otherwise grow in a range of soil from sand to clay.

The cultivar `Raywood’ has exceptionally striking red fall foliage and produces no seeds; it is often known as the `Claret Ash’. `Flame’ turns deep burgundy in the fall similar to burgundy Sweetgum.

Pests and Diseases

No pests or diseases are of major concern, although possibly borers. This tree is reportedly resistant to anthracnose foliage disease and Ash lygusbug which attacks other Ashes.


This document is ENH424, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2006. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; Dennis G. Watson,former associate professor, Agricultural Engineering Department, 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.

Raywood Ash

Fraxinus oxycarpa ‘Raywood’

  • Synonym: Fraxinus angustifolia ‘Raywood’
  • Other common name is Claret Ash
  • Fast-growing deciduous tree
  • Fall color!
  • A beautiful tree with a round-headed form to cast the perfect amount of summer shade!
  • Excellent as a single specimen
  • Resistant to Ash blight

Raywood Ash, botanical name Fraxinus oxycarpa ‘Raywood,’ is a Mediterranean native that can grow to be a large tree with a round-headed form, so it is capable of providing the right amount of summer shade! It’s a favorite in landscapes throughout the Southwest both for its shade coverage as well as the beautiful fall color it brings to yards! In the fall, the attractive dark green leaves turn to an alluring red wine color. Once the leaves fall, it can let the warmth of the sun in, and you’ll only need to do a one-time easy cleanup! The foliage comes back in the spring, just in time to cool off your home and keep you comfortable while you’re enjoying your yard!

These are fast-growing deciduous trees, and we also like to plant them as a street tree that brings plenty of curb appeal! For widespread shade, plant them in a grove! They thrive in a location that gets plenty of full sun exposure and once established; they are drought resistant with little to moderate watering requirements.

We are the growers of Raywood Ash so that we can assure their quality is the best you’ll find anywhere! You want them big? We have some available right now, ready to bring the look of an instant landscape to your yard! These are excellent companions to other drought-resistant trees such as Chinese Pistache and Brazilian Pepper trees, which we grow and sell at our nurseries throughout the Southwest!

We do the work! That’s right! We offer free planting on all box sized trees so that it cannot get any easier to come home to a beautiful new landscape!

How to Care for Raywood Ash

The Raywood Ash is our tree of the week for Arizona! We love these deciduous trees, and they put on a spectacular show when their beautiful dark green leaves transform to a deep burgundy color that is sure to get your yard noticed for all the right reasons! Also, since it’s deciduous, you’ll have an easy one time clean up! Of course, what we really love about them is that they can grow to be a beautiful tree with a canopy that is capable of providing plenty of widespread cooling shade when we need it most – in the summer!

Raywood Ash Love to Grow in Arizona!

Raywood Ash, (Fraxinus oxycarpa ‘Raywood’) trees are tolerant of strong winds so that they are ideal for growing in our area. Also, compared to other Ash species, they are more tolerant of dry soils. Take care of this beautiful tree, and it will reward you and your landscape for years!

Exposure and Where to Plant

These trees love to grow in a location that receives full sun exposure. Full sun exposure amounts to at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. These are well-suited as a spectacular lawn specimen and shade tree, so plant one now and enjoy the view!

How to Water

These trees are vigorous, fast-growers. A newly planted Raywood Ash can be deeply watered and allowed to dry between watering. Once established, these can be an excellent tree for any water-wise landscape.

How to Trim

Remember being a kid and drawing trees that looked like a lollipop? The Raywood Ash is one such tree and knowing how to trim one correctly will ensure that it looks fantastic all year long! If you’ve got a young tree, you’ll want to prune it in late fall to establish a central leader.

You will want to prune to remove any crossing, rubbing, or other branches that may need to be removed for optimal growth and health.

  • When removing branches, always trim back to the point of origin and make sure your cut is made on green-wood. Scrape away a thin strip of bark and look for brown wood underneath. Green wood is healthy wood.
  • You’ll want to trim back any damaged branches to a lateral branch and do this at least 6-inches into healthy wood. Also, to prevent any scrape wounds you’ll want to eliminate crossing branches.
  • If you see big scaffold branches directly opposite of each other, this can weaken the structure of the tree. You’ll want to encourage the formation of other lateral branches spaced evenly. To do this remove whichever opposite branch is the weaker one.

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Garden Clippers
  • Pruning Saw

Tip: Wrapping the trunk in the summer is an excellent way to keep these trees healthy during the hottest times of the year!

If you don’t have the time, tools, or the skills required to trim you can always leave the trimming to our professional care division. Set up an appointment anytime and our professional crew will be glad to care for your tree properly.

Find out how to pick the best tree that will not damage your foundation. Before deciding on a particular tree that you think will be excellent, make sure you find out all about its root system, especially about the anticipated depth and spread of its roots.

Here’s how to pick best tree that will not damage your foundation:

Choose a tree that does not have an invasive root system. If you do, it will grow under your foundation and harm it. The best types of trees to pick include oaks, walnut trees, hickory and conifers. To find out exactly which specific tree would be most beneficial to you, talk to an landscape company. Trees that grow long, lateral roots should not be installed near house foundations. Learn more about the causes of foundation damage.

What types of trees are the worst choice to plant near foundations?

Trees that have long, lateral roots are bad choices because they harm foundations. Maple trees, ash trees and cottonwoods are trees you should not pick because they are known for growing invasive, lateral trees roots. Deciduous trees tend to have a deep root system that crawl beneath foundations and cause deterioration. They are best avoided. Trees of this type can hurt your foundation by growing under your structure and forcing it upward. This can cause your foundation to heave. What’s more, because trees need water to sustain them, they will rob your soil of much needed moisture and this can be damaging to your foundation, as well. Read some tips on protecting your foundation through landscaping.

It’s important to note that soil conditions also affect the growth of trees roots, too. Highly compacted soils have less oxygen in them and, as a result, roots do not tend to become exceedingly large. Trees planted in hard compacted soils generally grow near the surface of the soil and pose less threat of harm to your property.

How Far From The Foundation Should Trees Be Planted To Ensure They Don’t Do Harm?

Trees should be installed 15′ – 25′ away from your foundation, depending upon the size of the tree’s root system. If you choose a tree that has a very large root system, it may need to be planted 50’ away from the foundation, if possible. Remember: the spread of tree roots can be two to four times greater than the drip line of the branches. This means that a massive root system can easily form under your foundation.

When you make a bad choice in trees, foundation damage is sure to occur. It’s imperative to keep tree roots away from underground utilities. To be on the safe side, make sure trees are installed a minimum of 5’-10’ away from utilities. Where driveways or sidewalks are concerned, it’s best to plant them at a distance of 6-7’ away if you’re installing a medium-sized tree, and up to 20’ away if the tree is known for having large, encroaching roots. It may be beneficial to install a root barrier to protect your house or driveway from damage.

If you have issues, learn how to pick the best tree that will not damage your foundation. If foundation repairs are needed, contact HD Foundations. We service the entire DFW Metroplex.

Selectively thin, rather than top that Raywood

Gardening season is in full swing and there are lots of questions out there. Get answers from Ask an Expert, an online question-and-answer tool from Oregon State University’s Extension Service. OSU Extension faculty and Master Gardeners reply to queries within two business days, usually less. To ask a question, simply go to the OSU Extension website and type in a question and the county where you live. Here are some questions asked by other gardeners. What’s yours?

Q: Is it OK to top off about 10 feet of a 50-foot-tall ‘Raywood’ ash tree that is about 10 years old? And can it be done now this summer before winter storms? The shallow root system of the tree has us concerned about it being blown over next winter. Two winters ago it started to topple but we were able to stabilize it and it seems fine now. Can we cut it back now, or are we going to damage or kill the tree? I would really like to do it now but really like the tree. It is very healthy now so should I go ahead and top it now or wait until this winter when it is dormant? – Jackson County

A: We’d hate to see you call an arborist and ask him to “top” your tree. A good arborist would refuse to make such a cut, but might recommend selectively thinning some of the branches so that the weight of the top is lessened. ‘Raywood’ ash are beautiful street, patio, and shade trees. They generally are drought tolerant. Perhaps your tree is located where it gets a lot of water, perhaps from a lawn, thus keeping the roots shallow. An arborist should be able to advise you as to root strength and depth, relieving your concerns about the tree toppling over.

Topping a tree results in stubbed branches that tend to regrow in many small, sucker-like branches. This new growth will not only affect the appearance of the tree, but potentially open the cut limbs to pests and disease. If the present tree height is too great for the location, the solution is to remove the tree, not remove only the top. Sorry that is not good news; hopefully an arborist can save the tree without disfiguring it. – Marjorie Neal, OSU Master Gardener Volunteer

Continuation: Thank you for your response. I’m impressed and appreciate you expertise. I guess we’ll take our chances with it toppling over in high winds. I’m sure the roots are shallow as the tree is surrounded by lawn that is on a sprinkler system. But it is now close to 15 years old so it’s hopefully much more established than four years ago when it started to fall in a storm.

A: You might still want to consider thinning some of the heaviest branches – just don’t cut off a branch in its middle (which is what topping really is). You might also want to look closely at that sprinkler system. If it is on an automatic clock, perhaps you are over-watering. You can also look at where water actually hits inside the “dripline” (the outer extent of the branches) and perhaps redirect some of the sprinklers or replace them with half-circles that spray away from the tree, etc. Again, some professional help might be the best way to go – save your tree and your nerves! – Marjorie Neal, OSU Master Gardener Volunteer

Leaf from a London plane tree in Ashland

Large white-barked tree found in Ashland is likely a London plane tree

Q: I’m trying to determine a type of tree I’ve found growing on various streets of old neighborhoods in Ashland. They are white barked, have a large circumference (bigger than 5 feet) and I’m guessing are in the 40 to 60 meter height range. One other question: could a Ficus sycomorus be grown in southern Oregon? – Jackson County

A: It appears from your photo to be a leaf from a London plane tree (Platanus x acerifolia), which is a hybrid between an Oriental plane tree and an American sycamore. You can find a number of these trees in Lithia Park near the bandstand. The leaves resemble maple leaves but the tree has no maple “blood” in it. Most of these trees top out at 120 feet or so (your estimate of 40 meters is not far off!)

The ones in Lithia Park suffer from a soil-borne disease to which American sycamores are susceptible. That is why in the park you will see some interplantings of a different tree, an American hornbeam, which ultimately will take the place now held by the London plane trees.

Here is what Flora, an encyclopedia of plants, has to say about the sycamore fig (also known as the Egyptian sycamore, or mulberry fig.): “Ficus sycomorus from the Arabian Peninsula and south of Sudan … 80 feet tall, with a spread of 35 feet. Full sun … bears small, spherical, velvety edible figs, yellow, orange or red.” The hardiness zones are listed as 10 to 12, a similar climate to what you would find in the hottest parts of the desert in Arizona or New Mexico. We doubt it would grow here. – Marjorie Neal, OSU Extension Master Gardener

Sap sucker bird makes these holes in tree bark.

Holes in a Kentucky Coffee tree aren’t made by pests

Q: Can anyone tell me what is infesting my Kentucky Coffee Tree? There are small burrow holes about the size of a pencil eraser and the trunk is turning blackish where sap has run from the holes. I have noticed some type of insect but don’t know how to treat or what is infesting. – Multnomah County

A: The holes were made by a sap sucker. This bird makes a series of shallow holes in a tree trunk, just deep enough to allow sap to run. The bird can then feed on the leaking sap and also on the insects which visit the sap. The bird typically returns to feed multiple times during the season.

With time, the sap oozes down the bark and eventually turns black because it is colonized by an ever present fungus with the very appropriate name of sooty mold. The only importance of the fungus is that it turns the thin film of sugary sap black. It doesn’t cause disease in any plant.

Bottom lines:

  • Don’t worry. All is well. No pest is present.
  • The tree won’t be negatively affected from the sap sucker or its holes.

– Jean Natter, OSU Extension Master Gardener


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