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Green Ash

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Fraxinus pennsylvanica Green AshFraxinus pennsylvanica ash by Eli Sagor

  • Zones: 2-9
  • Sun:  Full sun
  • Height:  60-70’
  • Spread:  45-50’
  • Shape:  Somewhat rounded to oval, irregular open crown
  • Growth Rate:  Rapid, up to 2’ per year, reaching maturity in about 20 years
  • Soil Preference:  Prefers moist, deeply fertile soil, very adaptable
  • Moisture:  Average moisture needs
  • Foliage:  Dark green turning yellow in fall
  • Blooms:  Inconspicuous green brown flowers without petals
  • Fruit:  1 - 2 1/2” samaras, female trees only

Fraxinus pennsylvanica fall colorThe Green Ash, is a bit smaller than the White Ash, with a shorter trunk and a more open crown.  So the shade cast is not quite so dense. Green Ash is also known as Red Ash, but they are in fact similar varieties of pennsylvanica.  The trees bear distinctly male or female flowers, opening just before leaf bud in April or May. Only the female flowers produce fruit, so a male specimen would be preferred.  Seeds begin to drop in October, continuing into winter.  Very tolerant of soil conditions including heavy poorly drained soil, and is not fussy about pH. However, in heavy clay soil, the extensive root system will be closer to the surface. Green ash produces excellent yellow fall color and is quite tolerant of urban conditions once established.  Bark is slightly furrowed.  The wood is heavy and strong, but brittle.

 

 Fraxinus pennsylvanica Green Ash ‘Sherwood Glen’Fraxinus pennsylvanica 'Sherwood Glen' by Josh Jackson

  • Zones: 3-9
  • Sun:  Full sun
  • Height:  55’
  • Spread:  25’
  • Shape:  Upright oval crown
  • Growth Rate:  Rapid, 18-24”’ per year, reaching maturity in about 20 years
  • Soil Preference:  Prefers moist, deeply fertile soil, very adaptable
  • Moisture:  Average moisture needs, drought tolerant
  • Foliage:  Dark green turning yellow in fall
  • Blooms:  Inconspicuous green brown flowers without petals
  • Fruit:  1 - 2 1/2” samaras, female trees only

‘Sherwood Glen’ is a very adaptable, tough tree that is excellent for the difficult conditions in street plantings.  It is very drought tolerant, and tolerant of urban conditions.  It is not fussy about soil type or pH, and tolerates salt well.  The growth habit is fairly uniform with an upright oval crown.  The trunk is tall with canopy clearing about 6 feet from the ground.  Should be pruned in late summer to avoid winter or spring sap bleed. 

 

Fraxinus pennsylvanica Green Ash ‘Summit’Fraxinus pnnsylvanica 'Summit' Seedless

  • Zones: 3b-8b
  • Sun:  Full sun
  • Height:  55-60’
  • Spread:  50-60’
  • Shape:  Pyramid when young, open and oval as it matures
  • Growth Rate:  Fast
  • Soil Preference:  Prefers moist, deeply fertile soil, very adaptable
  • Moisture:  Average moisture needs, drought tolerant
  • Foliage:  Slightly glossy green turning golden yellow in fall
  • Blooms:  Inconspicuous green brown flowers without petals
  • Fruit:  none

Fraxinus pnnsylvanica 'Summit' fall color‘Summit’ Green Ash grows a strong central leader and displays a good branching habit, making it stronger than many of the Ash varieties.  Pruning after established but while still young can encourage this.  As a male specimen no seeds are produced, but females do exist.  Fall color is an excellent golden yellow, turning a bit ahead of other ash trees. Urban tolerance is very good and is a good choice for boulevards and parking lot islands.   However, in heavy wet soils, large surface roots may develop.  Once established ‘Summit’ requires little or no care and is drought tolerant.  Good insect resistance, except of course for the persistent Emerald Ash Borer.

 

Fraxinus pennsylvanica Green Ash ‘Variegata’Fraxinus pennsylvanica 'Variegata'

  • Zones: 4
  • Sun:  Full sun
  • Height:  25’
  • Spread:  17’
  • Shape:  Pyramid when young, open and oval as it matures
  • Growth Rate:  Slow to Moderate
  • Soil Preference:  Prefers moist, deeply fertile soil, very adaptable
  • Moisture:  Average moisture needs
  • Foliage:  Slightly glossy green turning golden yellow in fall
  • Blooms:  Inconspicuous green brown flowers without petals
  • Fruit:  none

Also known as ‘Harlequin Ash’, the leaves have a wonderful white variegation on the margin with speckled interior.  Reddish branches are a lovely contrast to the foliage.  Beautifully compact tree, excellent as a specimen tree.  Very hard to find. 

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