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Fraxinus americana

Pronunciation: Frak-si-nus a-mer-ih-kay-na
Family: Oleaceae (olive family)
Common Name: White ash
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 40-60'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: White ash is dioecious - male and female flowers are on separate trees. The little petalless flowers appear just before the leaves unfold in early spring. They are arranged in hanging clusters and not very showy. The fruits, produced in late summer, are winged samaras about 2 in (5. 1 cm) long, borne in crowded hanging clusters. They are thin and papery and look a little like dragonfly wings.
Soil Type: White ash needs a moist, but well-drained soil. It is not drought tolerant
Plant Perks:
  • Fall Foliage
Propagation: Sow ash seed outdoors as soon as it is collected in the fall. Germination will occur in spring. Seeds that have been stored require 2-3 months of cold stratification. Cultivars are grafted onto seedling rootstock
Native to: White ash is the most widespread and generally most common ash in north america. It ranges throughout the east from nova scotia and maine, west through southern ontario and minnesota to eastern nebraska, and south to eastern texas and northern florida. White ash is not a tree of swamps and marshes as are many of the other american members of the genus. This one occurs in well-drained soils along rivers and on lower slopes in mixed forests. White ash never occurs in pure stands and is rarely a dominant tree in the forest; it grows in small groups or singly with other forest trees.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata care: white ash grows slowly at about 1-2 ft (0. 3-0. 6 m) per year, for the first 5-10 years, then picks up over then next several decades. It does well in neutral to alkaline soils. During youth, prune to maintain a single leader, as forked crotches are weak and may break in later years. The white ash is a beautiful specimen and shade tree for parks and larger landscapes. It is tolerant of urban pollution and exposed conditions. With its stout, upward reaching branches and symmetrical crown, the white ash presents a handsome silhouette in winter. They are sometimes used as street trees. White ash is quite tolerant of salt (but not highly exposed beach front conditions), and is well suited to the coastal garden. Choose nonfruiting cultivars if the litter of fallen samaras and numerous volunteer seedlings are undesirable. White ash is the most valuable of the ashes for timber; the wood is lightweight yet hard and strong, and used to make tool handles, furniture and baseball bats. Native americans made baskets and snowshoes from the flexible but strong young branches. The fruits are eaten by birds and small mammals, and deer browse the young twigs.
Seed photo: 1
Located in: Seed Photos
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