White Ash Tree

By: C. Colston Burrell
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The white ash tree is probably the most popular of all ashes for landscaping purposes. It is a fast-growing, low-care, multipurpose landscape tree that adapts to almost any conditions.

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Description of white ash tree: This eastern and central North American native is oval in outline in its youth, becoming open and rounded at maturity. The bark is gray to brown with a distinct diamond pattern. It bears deciduous pinnate leaves, usually with 7 leaflets, that are dark green above and paler below. They take on yellow to purple shades in the fall. Female trees produce hundreds of messy seeds and should be avoided.

Growing white ash tree: White ash is easy to grow and adaptable, although it reaches its full height (well above 100 feet) only in moist, deep, well-drained soils in full sun. It dislikes dry or rocky soils. It is susceptible to many diseases when grown in poor conditions but relatively pest free when properly placed. Emerald Ash borer is a relatively new pest with a major impact on ashes. There are no resistant varieties.

Uses for white ash tree: This is a fast-growing but long-lasting tree, best used in large spaces because of its eventual size. It makes a good shade tree and an excellent city tree.

White ash tree related species: The green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) is another popular ash for landscaping use and is somewhat smaller than the white ash. Marshall's Seedless is a good green ash.

White ash tree related varieties: There are many male selections of this tree, which do not produce seeds; these are the choicest varieties for landscaping. Autumn Purple, the most popular seedless variety, produces reddish purple fall leaves and has a pyramidal habit.

Scientific name of white ash tree: Fraxinus americana


Want more information on trees and gardening? Try:

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  • Types of Trees: Looking for fresh ideas about what to plant? Find out about different species that can turn your yard into a verdant oasis.
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