How do ash trees reproduce

Fraxinus americana L

Fraxinus americana L

Fraxinus americana L.

White Ash

Oleaceae -- Olive family

Richard C. Schlesinger

White ash (Fraxinus americana), also called Biltmore ash or Biltmore white ash, is the most common and useful native ash but is never a dominant species in the forest. It grows best on rich, moist, well-drained soils to medium size. Because white ash wood is tough, strong, and highly resistant to shock, it is particularly sought for handles, oars, and baseball bats. The winged seeds provide food for many kinds of birds.


Native Range

White ash grows naturally from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, to northern Florida in the east, and to eastern Minnesota south to eastern Texas at the western edge of its range (7).

-The native range of white ash.


The climate varies greatly within the natural range of this species. The length of the frost-free period is from 90 to 270 days. Mean January temperatures range from -14° C (7° F) to 12° C (54° F) and the mean annual minimum temperatures range from -34° C (-30° F) to -5° C (23° F). Mean July temperatures range from 18° C (64° F) to 27° C (81° F). The average annual precipitation is between 760 and 1520 mm (30 and 60 in), and the snowfall is from 0 to 250 cm (100 in).

Soils and Topography

White ash has demanding soil fertility and soil moisture requirements. These requirements may be provided by soils derived from a variety of parent materials-limestone, basalt, shale, alluvium, and fine glacial till. A large number of soil types may support white ash, many of which are included in the Hapludalfs and Fragiudalfs of the order Alfisols, Haplorthods and Fragiorthods of the order Spodosols, and Dystrochrepts and Fragiochrepts of the order Inceptisols (11).

White ash grows most commonly on fertile soils with a high nitrogen content and a moderate to high calcium content. Nutrient culture results show that an absence of nitrogen reduces seedling dry weight by 38 percent compared to seedlings grown in complete nutrient solution, and that calcium is the second most important macroelement, followed by sulfur (3). Its pH tolerance varies from 5.0 to 7.5.

Soil moisture is an important factor affecting local distribution. Best growth occurs on moderately well drained soils, including areas underlain by compacted glacial till; light textured, well drained, glacial drift; and sandy to clay loam soils in which roots can penetrate to a depth of 40 cm (16 in) or more. Although rarely found in swamps, white ash is intermediately tolerant of temporary flooding.

White ash is found in various topographic situations. It grows from near sea level in the southeastern Coastal Plain to about 1050 m (3,450 ft) in the Cumberland Mountains and up to 600 m (1,970 ft) in New York's Adirondack Mountains. In the hilly and mountainous areas of the Northeast, it grows on the mesophytic lower and middle slopes, usually stopping short of both the dry, oak-pine ridgetops and the cold, spruce-fir mountain tops. In the Coastal Plain, white ash usually is limited to the slightly elevated ridges in the floodplains of major streams. In the Central States it is most common on slopes along major streams, less common in upland situations, and rarely found in the flat bottoms of major streams or in depressions (16).

Associated Forest Cover

White ash is a major component in the forest cover type White Pine-Northern Red Oak-Red Maple (Society of American Foresters Type 20) and is a common associate in 25 other forest cover types (4):

19 Gray Birch-Red Maple
21 Eastern White Pine
22 White Pine-Hemlock
23 Eastern Hemlock
24 Hemlock-Yellow Birch
25 Sugar Maple-Beech-Yellow Birch
26 Sugar Maple-Basswood
27 Sugar Maple
28 Black Cherry-Maple
33 Red Spruce-Balsam Fir
39 Black Ash-American Elm-Red Maple
42 Bur Oak
52 White Oak-Black Oak-Northern Red Oak
53 White Oak
55 Northern Red Oak
57 Yellow-Poplar
58 Yellow-Poplar-Eastern Hemlock
59 Yellow-Poplar-White Oak-Northern Red Oak
60 Beech-Sugar Maple
63 Cottonwood
64 Sassafras-Persimmon
80 Loblolly Pine--Shortleaf Pine
82 Loblolly Pine-Hardwood
87 Sweetgum-Yellow-Poplar
91 Swamp Chestnut Oak-Cherrybark Oak

Some of the primary associates of white ash include eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), northern red oak (Quercus rubra), white oak (Q. alba), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), red maple (A. rubrum), yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), black cherry (Prunus serotina), American basswood (Tilia americana), eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), American elm (Ulmus americana), and yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). Understory shrubs and small trees frequently found growing with ash are downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea), pawpaw (Asimina triloba), American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), witch-hazel (Hamamelis uirginiana), eastern hophornbeam (Ostrya uirginiana), and mapleleaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium).

Life History

Reproduction and Early Growth

Flowering and Fruiting- White ash is dioecious; flowers appear with or just before the leaves in April and May. A good seed crop is produced about every third year. The time between the first noticeable enlargement of the male flower buds until shedding is 2 to 3 weeks. Pollen shedding from an individual tree usually takes 3 or 4 days. The pollen is carried by wind as far as 100 in (328 ft) from the point of dispersion.

Female buds are completely open a few days after they begin to swell. Exposed flowers remain receptive for about I week, but once the stigmas discolor, the period of receptivity is past. Abundant seed crops are borne by about half of the flowering trees.

Good seeds are produced in all parts of the crown. Almost 99 percent of the fruits (samaras) contain one seed, about 1 percent contain two, and a very small percent have twin embryos. Vigorous trees may first flower when only 8 to 10 cm (3 to 4 in) in d.b.h., but white ash is usually 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 in) in d.b.h. before it flowers abundantly.

Seed Production and Dissemination- The seed is dispersed by wind up to 140 in (460 ft) from the parent tree. White ash seed has a very pronounced dormancy. Although the embryo is completely developed morphologically at the time of seedfall (September to December), the physiological state of the endosperm and embryo inhibit germination. Seeds must be stratified under moist conditions for 2 or 3 months before they will germinate, and the average laboratory germination is 54 percent. The minimum seed-bearing age is 20 years (14).

Seedling Development- Germination is epigeal. Natural regeneration from seeds will occur if the soil, humus, or leaf litter is wet in the spring. Under experimental conditions, seedlings developed best in 45 percent of full sunlight (8). Thus silvicultural systems that can provide sunlight, such as shelterwood or clearcutting, have been recommended for white ash.

Photoperiodic response appears to vary with geographic location. North Carolina seedlings showed no growth response to a 14.5-hour daylength. In a Massachusetts test, however, northern seedlings ceased height growth and dropped their leaves well before the first frost, while southern seedlings continued height growth until late autumn.

Vegetative buds begin to enlarge in April or May. Height growth is 90 percent complete in 30 days, and 100 percent complete in 60 days. Diameter growth generally continues until August.

Young white ash exhibits strong apical dominance. Thrifty open-grown seedlings 2 in (6.6 ft) tall often have only two or three pairs of lateral branches, and sometimes none. If the terminal bud is removed, apical dominance is altered and new branches develop from the uppermost pair of lateral buds. Generally one of these grows faster than the other and soon assumes apical control.

Vegetative Reproduction- Stumps of freshly cut seedling and sapling white ash sprout readily. Usually only one or two stems are produced. This species can be propagated by conventional methods of budding, grafting, or layering. Even open field and bench grafting of unpotted stock are highly successful. Diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid white ash have all been successfully grafted on diploid stock.

Sapling and Pole Stages to Maturity

Growth and Yield- Depending on the amount of root competition, a field-grown white ash tree in full sunlight may take from 3 to 15 years to become 1.5 m (5 ft) tall. By then, its root system is usually well established and white ash is able to grow rapidly even if surrounded by weeds. Post-juvenile growth rates of dominant and codominant trees in unthinned, even-aged stands in central Massachusetts are as follows:

Age D. b.h. Height

(yr) (cm) (in) (m) (ft)
20 10 4 12 39
30 18 7 17 56
40 25 10 21 69
50 30 12 23 75
60 36 14 25 82
70 43 17 27 89

Yield tables are not available for white ash in pure stands. However, for plantations in Canada ranging in age from 20 to 38 years, We growth of the dominant and codominant trees averaged 3 to 5 mm. (0.1 to 0.2 in) per year in diameter and 0.2 to 0.8 m (0.7 to 2.6 ft) in height (13). In mixed Appalachian hardwood stands, diameter growth ranged from 3 to 8 mm (0.1 to 0.3 in) per year, depending on site quality and individual tree variation.

Rooting Habit- White ash generally forms a taproot that in turn branches into a few large roots that grow downward. From these vertical roots, single lateral branches develop at intervals. Intraspecific grafting is common. The distribution of roots is strongly influenced by soil type. On a loamy sand, most of the roots, both large and small, were in the A horizon. On a fine sandy loam, the majority of the fine roots were in the B, horizon, and the large roots equally in the A and B1.

Knowledge of mycorrhizal associations is limited. Gyrodon merulioides has been reported on white ash. Seedlings inoculated with the endomycorrhizal fungi Glomus mosseae and G. fasciculatus grew markedly better than nonmycorrhizal controls (12).

Reaction to Competition- White ash is a pioneer species that establishes itself on fertile abandoned fields in several parts of the country. In the Southeast, much of the abandoned agricultural land is incapable of supporting white ash. On such sites, white ash establishes itself only after some site protection and improvement has been accomplished by pines. However, pioneer ash often do not develop into good timber trees unless other hardwoods or pines are also present to provide competition and reduce branchiness.

Open-grown trees commonly remain single stemmed and fine branched until they are 9 to 12 ni (30 to 40 ft) tall, although old specimens can become as broad crowned as an elm. With even slight crowding, the single-stemmed characteristic can easily be maintained throughout a rotation. Shade-killed branches drop quickly-small ones within a year or two and larger ones within 4 or 5 years (16).

Uninjured terminal buds suppress the growth of all lateral buds on the current year's growth, and they suppress the growth of other laterals to such an extent that each internode has only one pair of branches that persist more than a few years. Even the strongest lateral branches grow only half as fast as the terminal except on old, open-grown trees. Little or no epicormic branching occurs on the boles of released trees. The branches of dominant trees emerge from the bole at about a 35° angle from the vertical, whereas the branches of intermediate trees emerge at about a 55° angle (16).

When young, white ash is a shade-tolerant tree. Seedlings can survive under a canopy with less than 3 percent of full sunlight but grow little under these conditions. Seedlings that receive sufficient sunlight grow rapidly. With increasing age, white ash becomes less tolerant of shade and is classed overall as intolerant. The decrease in shade tolerance with increasing age is reflected in the fact that young white ash is abundant in the understory of northern hardwood stands, but few grow into the overstory unless provided with light from above.

Despite its low shade tolerance, white ash is characteristic of intermediate as well as early stages of natural plant succession. Throughout its range it is a minor but constant component of both the understory and overstory of mature forests on suitable soils. It owes its position in the final overstory to its ability to persist for a few years in moderately dense shade and to respond quickly to openings in the canopy created by death or other causes.

White ash can be maintained more easily in a dense stand than can some of its more shade-intolerant associates, such as northern red oak. In contrast, dominant or codominant white ash responds readily to thinning and within a few years will increase its crown area to take full advantage of any reasonable release (16).

Damaging Agents- Ash decline (also called ash dieback) is the most serious problem affecting white ash. Especially prevalent in the northeastern part of the tree's range, this disease complex occurs from the Great Plains to the Atlantic coast between 39 and 45 degrees north latitude (10). The disease, ash yellows, caused by mycoplasma-like organisms (MLO), has been found associated with most of the dying trees where ash decline is conspicuous (9). However, since not all dying trees are infected with MLO, ash decline is thought to result from multiple causes. Drought-weakened trees may be invaded by cankercausing, branch-girdling fungi such as Fusicoccum spp. and Cytophorna pruinosa. Additional stresses that may be involved in the etiology of ash decline are air pollution, leaf-spotting fungi, and viruses. Control recommendations are based primarily on maintaining good tree vigor (6).

Air pollution damages white ash. It is rated as sensitive to ozone and is severely injured by stack gases from soft coal consumption and from industrial processes, both of which emit sulfur dioxide.

Two leaf spot fungi, Mycosphaerella effigurata and M. fraxinicola, are common in nurseries and in the forest and cause premature defoliation of white ash. Anthracnose (Gloeosporium aridum) also causes premature defoliation and is most serious following exceptionally wet springs. An ash strain of tobacco ringspot virus causes chlorotic areas on the leaves and has been associated with ash dieback.

A rust (Puccinia peridermiospora) distorts petioles and small twigs. Cankers caused by Nectria galligena may cause branches to break but are rarely found on main stems. Heartwood rots may be caused by Perenniporia fraxinophilus, Phellinus igniarius, Pleurotus ostreatus, Tyromyces spraguei, and Laetiporus sulphureus. These organisms usually enter through wounds or broken branches, mainly on older trees.

Of 26 species of nematodes reported from the roots or root zones of white ash, only one, Meloidogyne ovalis, has been associated with root injury. However, nematodes can be vectors for the ringspot virus (5).

Of the insect pests, the oystershell scale (Lepidosaphes ulmi) is the most serious. Severe infestations cause yellowing of the leaves, and if prolonged, may kill some trees. The cottony maple scale (Pulvinaria innumerabilis) also attacks white ash.

The brownheaded ash sawfly (Tomostethus multicinctus) and the blackheaded ash sawfly (Tethida cordigera) are defoliators that are of concern mainly on ornamental trees. The forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) and the green fruitworm (Lithophane antennata) feed on forest trees and occasionally cause complete defoliation within small geographic areas. The larvae of sphingid moths-Sphinx chersis (the great ash sphinx), S. kalmiae, and Ceratornia undulosa-feed on the leaves of white ash, as does the notched-wing geometer (Ennomos magnaria). The larvae of two leaf roller moths, Sparganothis dilutocostana and S. folgidipenna, also feed on ash.

The ash bark beetle (Leperisinus aculeatus) may cause slight injury when the adults bore into the bark to hibernate. The ash borer (Podosesia syringae) may seriously damage young shade and shelterbelt trees. The ash and privet borer (Tylonotus bimaculatus) attacks and kills branches, especially on older trees. Both the red-headed ash borer (Neoclytus acurninatus) and the banded ash borer (N. caprea) colonize cut logs and dead or dying trees (1).

White ash seedlings are easily damaged or destroyed by deer and cattle browsing. Rabbits, beaver, and porcupine occasionally use the bark of young trees for food.

Special Uses

One of the earliest reported uses of white ash was as a snake bite preventive. Ash leaves in a hunter's pocket or boots were "proved" to be offensive to rattlesnakes and thereby provided protection from them. Seeds of white ash are eaten by the wood duck, bob white, purple finch, pine grosbeak, and fox squirrel. White ash is used in yard, street, and roadside plantings and also has been planted on strip mines with some success.


Population Differences

White ash contains several phenotypic variants of leaf form that appear to be genetically controlled even though they are randomly distributed throughout the natural range. Chief among these are 9-leaflet, narrow-leaflet, blunt-leaflet, ascidiate leaflet, partially pubescent, purple-keyed, and crinkle-leaf forms. A purple leaf variant is vegetatively propagated and grown as an ornamental.

White ash is a polyploid species. Diploids (2n=46) occur throughout the species range but most tetraploids (2n=92) are found south of latitude 35° N and hexaploids (2n=138) are concentrated between latitude 35° and 40° N. Although three ecotypes were previously recognized on the basis of seedling morphology and ploidy level (15), recent work has shown that the variation in several traits is closely related to latitude. This clonal variation and the strong effects of ploidy level on several other traits indicate that ecotypes probably do not exist in white ash (2).


White ash and Texas ash (Fraxinus texensis (Gray) Sarg.) intergrade in Texas. The pumpkin ash (Fraxinus profunda (Bush) Bush) behaves in many respects as if it were a true breeding hexaploid derivative of a cross between tetraploid white ash and diploid green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh. ). However, attempts have failed to artificially cross the two species. It is likely that natural hybridization between white ash and other species is extremely rare (16).

Literature Cited

  1. Baker, Whiteford L. 1976. Eastern forest insects. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Miscellaneous Publication 1175. Washing-ton, DC. 642 p.
  2. Clausen, K. E., F. H. Kung, C. F. Bey, and R. A. Daniels. 1982. Variation in white ash. Silvae Genetica 30:93-97.
  3. Erdmann, Gayne G., Frederick T. Metzger, and Robert R. Oberg. 1979. Macronutrient deficiency symptoms in seedlings of four northern hardwoods. USDA Forest Service, General Technical Report NC-53. North Central Forest Experiment Station, St. Paul, MN. 36 p.
  4. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 p.
  5. Hepting, George H. 1971. Diseases of forest and shade trees of the United States. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Handbook 386. Washington, DC. 658 p.
  6. Hibben, C. F., and S. B. Silverborg. 1978. Severity and causes of ash dieback. Journal of Arboriculture 4(12):274-279.
  7. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Handbook 541. Washington, DC. 375 p.
  8. Logan, K. T. 1973. Growth of tree seedlings as affected by light intensity. V. White ash, beech, eastern hemlock, and general conclusions. Canadian Forestry Service, Publication 1323. Ottawa, ON. 12 p.
  9. Matteoni, J. A. and W. A. Sinclair. 1985. Role of the mycoplasmal disease, ash yellows, in decline of white ash in New York State. Phytopathology 75:355-360.
  10. Sinclair, W. A., R. J. Iuli, A. T. Dyer, P. T. Marshall, J. A. Matteoni, C. R. Hibben, G. R. Stanosz, and B. S. Bums. 1988. Ash yellows: geographic range and association with decline of white ash. Phytopathology 78:1554.
  11. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1975. Soil taxonomy: a basic system of soil classification for making and interpreting soil surveys. Soil Survey staff, coord. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Handbook 436. Washington, DC. 754 p.
  12. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 1980. Root characteristics of some important trees of eastern forests: a summary of the literature. USDA Forest Service, Eastern Region, Milwaukee, WI. 217 p.
  13. von Althen, F. W. 1970. Hardwood plantations of southern Ontario. Canadian Forestry Service, Information Report O-X-2. Ottawa, ON. 34 p.
  14. Williams, Robert D., and Sidney H. Hanks. 1976. Hardwood nurserymen's guide. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Handbook 473. Washington, DC. 78 p.
  15. Wright, Jonathan W. 1944. Genotypic variation in white ash. Journal of Forestry 42:489-495.
  16. Wright, Jonathan W. 1965. White ash (Fraxinus americana L.), revised. In Silvics of forest trees of the United States. p. 191-196. H. A. Fowells, comp. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Handbook 271. Washington, DC.

Ash tree - CreationWiki, the encyclopedia of creation science

Ash tree
Scientific Classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Division: Magnoliophyta
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Order: Scrophularialus
  • Family: Oleaceae
  • Genus: Fraxinus [1]
  • Fraxinus americana
  • Fraxinus anomala
  • Fraxinus baroniana
  • Fraxinus berlandieriana
  • Fraxinus bungeana
  • Fraxinus caroliniana
  • Fraxinus chinensis
  • Fraxinus cuspidate
  • Fraxinus depauperatai
  • Fraxinus dipetala
  • Fraxinus excelsior
  • Fraxinus ferruginea
  • Fraxinus floribunda
  • Fraxinus gooddingii
  • Fraxinus greggii
  • Fraxinus griffithii
  • Fraxinus hupehensis
  • Fraxinus insularis
  • Fraxinus mandshurica
  • Fraxinus nigra
  • Fraxinus obovata
  • Fraxinus odontocalyx
  • Fraxinus ornus
  • Fraxinus papillosa
  • Fraxinus paxiana
  • Fraxinus pennsylvanica
  • Fraxinus platypoda
  • Fraxinus profunda
  • Fraxinus punctata
  • Fraxinus quadrangulata
  • Fraxinus retusifoliolata
  • Fraxinus sieboldiana
  • Fraxinus sikkimensis
  • Fraxinus sogdiana
  • Fraxinus stylosa
  • Fraxinus texensis
  • Fraxinus uhdei
  • Fraxinus velutina
  • Fraxinus xanthoxyloides [2]
Ash trees can grow to be very tall; this one stands out among its surroundings.

Ash trees are any of the species of trees belonging to the taxonomic genus Fraxinus. It is a deciduous perennial plant that is commonly found all across Europe and parts of North America. For many centuries, the ash tree has played an important role in the progress of mankind. The wood of the ash tree is very hard and has been used for purposes such as furniture, medicine, sports equipment, tools, and other items. [3] The ash tree has also plays an important role in many European traditions, cultures, and mythologies. [4]


  • 1 Body Design
  • 2 Life Cycle
  • 3 Ecology
  • 4 The History and Folklore Behind Ash Trees
  • 5 Video
  • 6 Gallery
  • 7 References

Body Design

The elongated brown seeds of the ash tree.

An ash tree's pinnately compound leaf.

Ash trees are very easy to identify because they have very distinct characteristics, especially their leaves, branches, and bark. The branches of an ash tree are arranged in an opposite pattern, meaning that, unlike most trees that have alternating branches, its branches occur in pairs. Two branches branch off of the main stem, one on each side, opposite of each other.

Similarly, the buds and leaf scars on these branches and twigs also occur in an opposite pattern. [5] After growing for about thirty years, the ash tree begins to flower and produce seeds. The ash tree flowers in April and May, but has black buds which group in pairs during the winter. As spring arrives, the seeds fall and can be carried off by the wind. [6][7] Normally, small purple flowers can be seen clustered in male and female clumps along the branches of the tree as well. However, different species of ash trees have different types of male and female flowers. Some trees rotate year after year with one year only producing female seeds, called keys, while the next year only producing male seeds. Other types though, will produce both, but on separate branches. Most commonly however, there are just male and female clumps. [8] To help prevent self-fertilization, the male flowers do not pollinate until the female flowers of the same tree are no longer receptive. Also around this time of year, the fruit of the ash tree can be seen. The fruit is winged and elongated, hanging in green clusters that eventually become brown. [9]

As for the ash tree’s leaves, they arrive after the buds do and are pinnately compound. Compound leaves are ones that have two or more individual leaves branching off of one main stem. Depending on the species, ash trees have five to eleven leaflets per leaf. The edges of these leaves are also reasonably toothed. On the leaf scars, there are many small dots in a crescent pattern. [10][11] Most varieties of ash trees have leaves that tend to be green in the summer, but change to yellow or purple in the fall. Out of all the varieties of ash tree, the white ash has the largest leaves. [12]

As for the bark of the ash tree, it has deep cracks and is a grayish-brown color. However, on the parts of the tree that are younger, like new twigs, the bark is more smooth an of a pale greenish-gray color. [13] Certain types of ash trees have slightly different appearances. For instance, the black ash has thin, scaly, and an ashy-gray colored bark, whereas the white and green ash trees have thick, diamond-patterned bark. Another type of ash tree is the rare blue ash, which can be recognized by its unique four-sided stems; most other ash trees have round stems. [14]

Healthy ash trees tend to grow rapidly, reaching fifty to eighty feet tall in their lifetime, and about fifty to ninety feet wide in total diameter. Because ash trees can grow to be so large, they need a lot of space, especially for their [[[roots]]. Many ash trees struggle to survive if they are surrounded by other trees because their roots need a lot of space to expand and grow. [15] However, once they reach to be around fifty years old, they stop growing. [16]

Life Cycle

The beginning of an ash tree's growth.

The ash tree is a perennial plant meaning it continues to grow year after year. After about thirty years, the ash tree begins to flower and produce seeds in May. The ash tree has elongated, winged seeds that contain one seed per nutlet. These seeds are called keys. The female flowers produce seeds that ripen by late summer and turn a pale green. By late autumn, these seeds dry to a brown color and are distributed by the wind to eventually germinate on the ground where they land. [17] After about 100 years, the ash tree reaches full maturity, but it is uncommon for an ash tree to live much longer that 250 years. [18]


A group of ash trees in the English countryside.

An ash tree happily growing in the moist soil by a stream.

The ash tree is native to Northern Europe and can also be found in parts of America. These are primary conditions for the ash tree to live in because it grows best in places with moderately damp soil that is not too acidic. The ash tree tends to grow in areas where there is plenty of space, not only because its roots need room, but also because it needs an abundance of light, which, if surrounded by other trees, it may not be able to receive. The ash tree also flourishes in areas of limestone. The one problem with this however, is that the beech tree also likes these areas and can sometimes dominate over the ash trees. This being the case, many ash woodlands are found along the periphery of the beech tree’s habitat. [19] The ash tree also tends to grow along riverbanks, valley woodlands, and meadows. [20]

Along with the beech tree, some other threats to the ash tree include emerald ash borers, anthracnose, ash yellows, verticullium wilt, banded ash clearwigs, ash flowergall mites, ash rust, powdery mildew, ash anthracnose, cankers, butt rots, and root rots. Emerald ash borers are small invasive beetles that attack the ash tree’s nutrient carrying vessels, causing it to slowly die from the top down. They can be identified by their S-shaped galleries they make on the underside of the tree’s bark and their D-shaped exit holes. Anthracnose is a disease that causes widespread shoot dieback, twig death, and defoliation. It can be identified by brown areas on the tree’s leaves, purplish-brown coloring along the veins of the leaves, and canker on the trunk and main branches of the ash tree. Ash yellows is another disease which targets mostly the white and green ashes, and which cause a loss in vigor in a tree over a period of many years. This can be spotted by the ash tree’s leaves beginning to turn yellow and losing its leaves early. Cankers may also begin to form on the branches and trunk, resulting in dieback. Verticullium wilt is another infection that causes dieback and cankers. [21]

Unlike most other types of trees, the ash does not support many invertebrates. This includes things like slugs, worms, snails, and other legless insects. This being the case, the range of bird species is few, but it does serve as a home to some robins, blackbirds, chaffinches, and wrens. [22]

The History and Folklore Behind Ash Trees

In many European cultures, the ash tree plays a prominent role. The etymology of ash is believed to come from the Anglo-Saxon word aesc, which means spear. [23] For hundreds of years, the ash tree was considered sacred and the founder of mankind. Many scholars are puzzled as to why the ash tree was considered so sacrosanct to many cultures, but some think it has something to do with the sugary honey that can be secreted from certain ash trees. Up until the beginning of this century, this honey-like syrup was harvested and was referred to as manna. [24] In English folklore, the ash tree was used to determine what the weather was to be like. At one time, it was thought that the opening of the ash tree’s buds, in comparison to the opening of the oak tree’s buds, would determine how wet or dry the season would be. The summer would be dry if the oak buds appeared to open first, but would be wet if the ash buds opened first. An old rhyme was created to help remember this:

Oak before ash, in for a splash

Ash before oak, in for a soak. [25]




  1. ↑ Author Unknown. Plants Profile United-States-Department-of-Agriculture. Web. Date-of-last-access 26 May 2013.
  2. ↑ Catologue of Life. Fraxinus Encyclopedia-of-Life. Web. Date-of- last-update April 2013.
  3. ↑ Smith, Rebekah. Uses-of-Ash-Trees Web. Date-of-last-access 27 May 2013.
  4. ↑ ”Azara”. The-Common-Ash-Tree h3G2. Web. March 12, 2007 date of last-update or access.
  5. ↑ Pelliteri, Phil. What-Does-An-Ash-Tree-Look-Like? Wisconsin’s-Emerald-Ash-Borer-Information-Source. Web. Date-of- last-access May 18, 2013.
  6. ↑ ”Azara”. The-Common-Ash-Tree h3G2. Web. March 12, 2007 date of last-update or access.
  7. ↑ Author Unknown. Ash-Fact-File ARKive. Web. Date-of- last- access May 18, 2013.
  8. ↑ ”Azara”. The-Common-Ash-Tree h3G2. Web. March 12, 2007 date of last-update or access.
  9. ↑ Author Unknown. Ash-Fact-File ARKive. Web. Date-of-last-access May 18, 2013.
  10. ↑ Pelliteri, Phil. What-Does-An-Ash-Tree-Look-Like? Wisconsin’s-Emerald-Ash-Borer-Information-Source. Web. Unknown Date-of-publication or last-update or access.
  11. ↑ ”Azara”. The-Common-Ash-Tree h3G2. Web. March 12, 2007 date of last-update or access.
  12. ↑ Cartmell, Paul. The-Lifespan-of-Ash-Trees eHow. Web. January 9, 2013 last-update or access .
  13. ↑ ”Azara”. The-Common-Ash-Tree h3G2. Web. March 12, 2007 date of last-update.
  14. ↑ Pelliteri, Phil. What-Does-An-Ash-Tree-Look-Like? Wisconsin’s-Emerald-Ash-Borer-Information-Source. Web. May 18, 2013 Date-of- last-update or access.
  15. ↑ Cartmell, Paul. The-Lifespan-of-Ash-Trees eHow. Web. January 9, 2013 last-update or access .
  16. ↑ Author Unknown. Ash-Fact-File ARKive. Web. Date-of- last- access May 18, 2013.
  17. ↑ Norton, Joan. The-Life-Cycle-of-the-Ash-Tree Web. Date-of-last-update 2010.
  18. ↑ Cartmell, Paul. The-Lifespan-of-Ash-Trees eHow. Web. January 9, 2013 last-update or access .
  19. ↑ ”Azara”. The-Common-Ash-Tree h3G2. Web. March 12, 2007 date of last-update or access.
  20. ↑ Author Unknown. Ash-Fact-File ARKive. Web. Date-of-last-access May 18, 2013.
  21. ↑ Authorlastname, Firstname. Ash-Tree Savatree. Web. Date-of- last- access May 19, 2013.
  22. ↑ ”Azara”. The-Common-Ash-Tree h3G2. Web. March 12, 2007 date of last-update or access.
  23. ↑ ”Azara”. The-Common-Ash-Tree h3G2. Web. March 12, 2007 date of last-update or access.
  24. ↑ Dumont, Darl. The-Ash-Tree-in-Ind0-European-Culture "Musaios. Web. Date-of-publication summer 1992.
  25. ↑ ”Azara”. The-Common-Ash-Tree h3G2. Web. March 12, 2007 date of last-update or access.

Ash. Wood. Care, cultivation, reproduction. Kinds. A photo. — Botanychka

The ancient Greek gods believed that ash wood could be a very suitable material for creating a person. And in Hesiod's poem "Works and Days" it is said that Zeus created people from the shaft of a spear, which, as you know, ancient Greek gunsmiths carved from ash wood. The martial spirit that the ash tree absorbed into itself was transferred to the people created from it. In ancient Greece, the ash tree was considered a symbol of just retribution, which is probably why the punishing Nemesis, the goddess of retribution, was often depicted by artists with an ash branch in her hand .

Some peoples had a belief that poisonous snakes are afraid of ash trees like fire, especially its sap. It was believed that it was enough to wet a shirt with juice, for example, and then, after drying it well, put it on to protect yourself from snake bites. For a person in such a shirt, the snake becomes safe and even allows you to take it in hand.

The ash-tree belonged to revered trees in the Caucasus. From generation to generation, the highlanders guarded not only individual "sacred" trees, but also entire ash groves . Under their shadow, the highlanders performed sacrificial rites. The peaceful spirit of the Caucasian ash did not require bloody sacrifices and was completely satisfied with the most diverse dairy products brought to its foot.

All parts of the tree, from the buds to the roots, were used by people in the household and everyday life. Before the start of sap flow, Caucasian highlanders collected buds and bark from young branches in early spring, and later - leaves. Decoctions from the bark and kidneys were used as a rub for rheumatism and aches. Decoctions of leaves and bark were used to treat patients with fever . From the bark of large ash trees, beekeepers made quite roomy hives. During sap flow, the bark was removed in wide layers. Then they were sewn together with thin bark, cut into narrow strips. A cone-shaped lid made of thick ash bark was fitted on top of the resulting cylinder.

© Carly & Art

Ash (lat. Fraxinus) is a genus of woody plants from the olive family (Oleaceae).

The genus includes more than 50 species growing in temperate latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.

These are powerful deciduous trees, up to 30 m tall, with a wide-round, light crown, on highly raised grayish or grayish-green branches. The leaves are opposite, pinnate, bloom much later than other hardwoods, and fall off early. The flowers are not decorative, arranged in bunches or panicles at the ends of shortened shoots. They bloom before the leaves open. The fruits are winged achenes or nuts.

Light-requiring, develops best on rich, fairly moist soils with sufficient calcium content. Smoke and gas resistant. They do not tolerate pruning. Grow fast. Propagated by sowing seeds.

© dichohecho


How to plant: Prefers a sunny position, rich in organic matter, fairly moist soil with adequate calcium content. Does not tolerate soil salinity and stagnant water. Tolerates drought.

The distance between plants when planting is at least 5 m.
As a rule, after planting, subsidence and compaction of the soil occur, so the root ball during planting should be 10-20cm above ground level. This is especially true for the big ones. Before planting, the root system must be thoroughly saturated with moisture.

Soil mixture: leaf earth, humus, sand (1:2:1).

Drainage - crushed stone or sand - 15 cm.

Mulch - peat, wood chips 8-15 cm.

Top dressing: In early spring and late spring, top dressing with nitrogen-containing fertilizers (mullein - 1 kg, urea - 10g, ammonium nitrate - 20g per 1 bucket of water). In autumn, they feed with Kemira-universal or nitroammophos - 20g per 1 bucket of water.

Watering: Mandatory at planting and the next 3-4 days. In dry periods, it requires additional watering 1 bucket / 1 sq.m. projections of the crown, although it tolerates a short drought well.

Loosening: When weeding, 5-7 cm.

Shearing, pruning: Ash does not tolerate pruning, so only cutting out drying branches and cleaning the trunk of top shoots is recommended.

Diseases and pests:

  • 1. Ash shingle. Kinmiks, decis, uarbofos, twice.
  • 2. Ash beetle. Karbofos, twice.
  • 3. Cancer of trunks and branches. Cutting out cancerous ulcers, followed by treatment with an antiseptic and putty with garden pitch.

Preparing for winter: For stem plants, the stem
is wrapped with burlap for the first 2-3 years.

© dichohecho


American ash -Fraxinus americana.

North American East. In deciduous forests on deep, rich, moist, well-drained soils near streams and on slopes of hills and mountains, up to 1050 m a.s.l. seas.

A vigorous dioecious tree, up to 35 m tall, with a broadly ovate crown, bare young shoots and light brown buds. The leaves are compound, pinnate, of 7 (5-9) leaflets, ovate, entire or serrated, glabrous, dark green above, bluish below, up to 12 cm long. It grows quickly, is relatively drought-resistant and more frost-resistant than ordinary ash, is not damaged by spring frosts, since buds bloom 8-10 days later than other ash trees. It tolerates the conditions of the city, is durable. Propagated by sowing stratified seeds. Due to its rapid growth, beautiful openwork crown and durability, it is a valuable plant for avenue, group and composite plantings. In culture since 1874.

White ash, or flower -Fraxinus ornus.

European part of Russia, Western Europe, Middle East. In the flora of reserves is not specified. Light-loving xero-mesophyte of deciduous forests.

Small tree, up to 12 m tall, with a regular, round, dense crown. The leaves are light green, of 7 oblong-ovate, irregularly toothed leaflets up to 9 cm long, pubescent below along the midrib. It differs from other species of the genus in its white, fragrant flowers, with long, narrow petals, collected at the ends of the shoots in lush, dense panicles up to 15 cm long. At the time of flowering, which lasts 7-10 days, it is very decorative.

It is characterized by great love of light and drought resistance. It grows relatively slowly. Not cold hardy enough. Recommended for single, group and alley plantings in the south of Russia. In culture before 1700.

Lance ash, or green -Fraxinus lanceolata.

It occurs naturally in eastern North America, from where it was introduced into cultivation in the 18th century and widely distributed. In deciduous forests (sometimes forms pure plantations), along the banks of streams, on moist hills.

Very decorative with slender trunk, compact crown and glossy, dark green leaves, pale green underneath. Reaches 15 m in height. Differs in rather fast growth, high drought resistance. Less demanding on the soil than other species, more stable in urban environments. Frost-resistant. Successfully growing in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Common ash -Fraxinus excelsior.

Distributed in the European part of Russia (does not reach the Volga), in the forests of the mountainous Crimea and the Caucasus, throughout Western Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia Minor. Available in many reserves. In deciduous forests on fertile calcareous soils, photophilous mesophyte.

The most famous representative of the genus. Tree up to 30 m tall, with a broadly oval, openwork crown, with straight, slightly branched branches and unpaired foliage. The bark of the trunk is initially ash-gray, almost smooth, later with deep, longitudinal and small transverse cracks. Young shoots are bare, greenish-gray. The buds are black with velvety pubescence, very showy against the bare branches. The leaves are pinnate, of 7-9 sessile, broadly lanceolate, serrate along the edge, bright green leaves above, green below, hairy along the veins. Flowers without perianth, inconspicuous. Fruits - lionfish, up to 5 cm long, often remain on the branches all winter.

Fast growing, photophilous. In adulthood, it tolerates temperatures as low as -40°C. In severe winters, some of the shoots may freeze slightly, so it is better to plant it in protected places. It also suffers from late spring frosts, but then quickly recovers. Air dryness endures well, soil - worse. Demanding on the soil, insufficiently smoke and gas resistant. Propagated by seeds, which germinate without stratification only in the second year. Decorative forms are propagated by grafting onto the main species. Lives up to 300 years.

A valuable green building tree due to its fast growth, strong size, slender trunk and openwork crown. Looks good in alley planting, complex compositions, when planting roads.

Has many forms used in landscape gardening. The most interesting of them are the following: monumental (very spectacular, strong growth, with a pyramidal crown; low (slow-growing, with a compact spherical crown; weeping - a tree up to 8 m tall, with a domed crown and long branches hanging down to the ground, very spectacular in a single landing; horizontal - with horizontally spread main branches, a wide, flat crown and weeping branches; curly - with small, curly, dark green leaves; finely cut - with very narrow, slightly serrated leaves; variegated - a large tree with simple, single or partially trifoliate leaves, looks very peculiar in a single planting; yellow-leaved - with yellow leaves; golden - with yellow shoots and smaller leaves; golden-mottled; golden weeping; silver-motley; variegated - bark on young shoots with pink-white stripes that greatly decorate the tree in the leafless state.0005

Argenteo variegata. Light, almost white wood, smaller than the original form in size. The leaves are bordered with an uneven silver-white stripe, and in some places completely white. Ash has a very elegant look. The white stripe along the edge of the leaf sometimes turns light brown and the leaf curls slightly.

Fluffy ash, or Pennsylvania -Fraxinus pubescens.

The most widespread in the nature of North America, where it grows along the banks of rivers, on floodplains.

Tree of medium size (up to 20 m). A free-growing tree with a spreading, irregularly shaped crown. Shoots with felt pubescence, brown-brown. Leaves of 5-9 leaflets, dull green above, greyish-green below. Inconspicuous flowers in bunches. Lionfish are narrow, up to b cm long.

Less demanding on soil fertility than common ash, but more demanding on soil moisture. Tolerates temporary flooding and slight salinity. The most frost-resistant of the species of this genus. It tolerates urban conditions better than common ash. These qualities allow it to be widely used in landscaping the central and northern regions of the European part of Russia. At a young age in the northern regions, it suffers from frost and has a bushy shape. Gives good shade. Used for street plantings. In culture since 1783.

It has an aucubolic form - with yellow-variegated leaves, less pubescent than typical.

Aucubaefolia. Fast growing beautiful, very light, golden tree with an oval crown. Large leaves, dotted with golden spots, stripes, and this is similar to the variegated form of the Japanese aucuba. In rainy, cloudy summers and in a shaded place, variegation can be weakly expressed.

Manchurian ash -Fraxinus mandshurica.

Tree 30 m tall, trunk diameter 1.0 m. Far East, East Asia. Available in many reserves of the Far East. It grows in broad-leaved and coniferous-broad-leaved forests on rich, well-moistened soils, shade-tolerant mesohygrophyte.

Black ash -Fraxinus nigra.

Tree 25 m high. East of North America. In mixed stands in marshes, lakes and streams. Tolerates little standing water. Rarely forms pure stands.

Nosy-leaved ash -Fraxinus rhynchophylla.

Tree up to 12 m tall, trunk diameter 25-30 cm. Far East, East Asia. Available in a number of Far Eastern reserves. Grows in cedar-deciduous and broad-leaved forests. Light-loving mesoxerophyte.

© KimCarpenter NJ

reproduction and care, photo of the tree, leaves and its description

Starting acquaintance with the ash tree, it must be said that it belongs to the olive family, the famous representatives of which are golden forsythia, fragrant jasmine, lilac and others plants. For centuries, ash has been associated with a clear, light wood. And this is fully true, since there is always an excess of sun in ash groves: their openwork leaves provide a sufficient influx of sunlight so that the tree is provided with the most comfortable growing conditions. Therefore, each leaf contributes, opening the way for the sun at the slightest breath of breeze.


  • 1 Description

    • 1.1 Features of ash

  • 2 Laying

    • 2.1 Lowering

    • 9000 3 Care 9000 3 Care for the caused
    • 5 Conclusion


    Most of the ash is presented as a deciduous tree, although there are a few species that grow as a shrub. Usually its can be found in the Caucasus and in Ukraine . In our country, it is represented only in the southern and central regions. This tree includes more than 50 species, and in this list there are also low specimens, as well as luxurious giants 40 m high. white ash, which can reach 12 m. The most widespread within this family is common ash, which, when the necessary conditions are created for it, can grow up to 30 m, every year covering the soil around it with seeds.

    Peculiarities of ash

    The photo of a tree clearly shows how diverse it can be. Ash belongs to the number of light-loving plants . Its main feature is the openwork, which is provided to it by arched branches, an elongated spreading crown and transparent leaves with extremely small gaps. During the year, the plant provides a fairly significant increase in growth, the flowering time comes in April-May, and only after that the leaves begin to appear.

    The flowers of the ash tree are panicle-shaped, differing in shade, which can be white, burgundy or purple. Male and female flowers can grow on the same plant at the same time. But here important features of ash appear: male and female flowers grown on the same tree cannot be pollinated, since they differ in ripening time. Because of this, pollen from male flowers does not have time to move to female flowers in time. Therefore, there is a risk of not waiting for the seeds.

    Another feature of the tree is that flowers do not have corollas , so they are of little interest to flying pollinating insects. So that this moment does not affect development, it is recommended to plant several ash trees nearby, which will allow them to cross-pollinate. However, this does not apply only to manna ash. Insect pollinators are not indifferent to it, as its flowers contain a corolla.

    The tree also differs in its root system, which is usually associated with the growing conditions of the ash tree. Most representatives do not have a tap root, while the root system is located close to the surface. When growing ash in conditions of insufficient moisture, it grows a taproot, which forms a large number of horizontal processes that are at the level of groundwater. And if the latter are located no deeper than 1.5 m, then the ash tree will definitely be able to find the moisture it needs for normal development. Among ash trees there are such specimens that can provide themselves with moisture, extracting it at a depth of 3 meters or more.

    Ash-tree is perceived by many gardeners as one of the brightest elements of garden and park ensembles, therefore, it is chosen by many when creating landscape design. The decorative qualities of wood are undeniable, in addition to that, it can provide a variety of forms. Based on the type of tree, the following types of trees can be distinguished:

    • monumental. They have a lush pyramidal crown;
    • weeping. Form long branches that reach the ground;
    • horizontal. In the process of development they form wide flowers, some of which can reach the ground;
    • low spherical, etc.

    In ancient times there was a belief that this tree had the ability to brighten the world around it. This may explain the practice of planting an ash tree near the house, since this tree could maintain peace in the family and ensure its cohesion. Therefore, if you want to see this light tree in your backyard, then it's time to get acquainted with the features of its planting.

    Planting an ash tree

    A photo of a tree may make many summer residents want to plant it on their plot. Ash feels better in areas that have good illumination and drained fertile soil . If there are no special problems with finding a sunny place, then special fertilizers may be required to improve the quality of the soil. First of all, the soil will have to be saturated with calcium. However, care must be taken to ensure that the soil is not waterlogged.

    Soil salinity also has a bad effect on tree development. It is best to choose soil with a neutral or close reaction. It is unacceptable to plant ash on acidic and alkaline soils, since it will not be able to grow well in them.

    The sunny side of the plot may be a suitable place for young trees. Then in a few years a beautiful hedge will appear at your dacha. You can add even more decorativeness to it if you plant flowering shrubs in autumn.

    Ash is one of the long-lived plants and easily forms shoots as a result of falling seeds into the soil. Therefore, every year you can get planting material for planting ash in other places. The seeds of this tree look in the form of elongated lanceolate lionfish , which are rounded on one side. The maturity stage is reached in late September-early October. However, it is not recommended to use the seed sowing method to grow an adult ash tree, since this process requires a lot of time and effort. It makes sense to choose a simpler and less time-consuming method - planting seedlings.

    Planting seedlings

    First of all, it is necessary to dig a hole, which should be 1/3 larger than the earthen clod on the roots of the seedling. The bottom of the hole must be filled with drainage, which can be crushed stone, small pebbles or coarse sand. Take drainage in an amount so that it fills 1/4 of the height of the hole . After planting, the seedling should be located 10-15 cm above the soil level. When the young tree begins to grow, the earth will gradually subside, as a result, the root collar of the ash tree will be equal to the soil level.

    Even before planting a young tree, the hole must be moistened. Also, beforehand, along the perimeter of the pit, it is necessary to dig in the supports that are necessary to ensure the vertical position of the seedling and its attachment to them. After completing these steps, you can fill the hole with a pre-prepared soil mixture. In conclusion, it is necessary to slightly compact it.

    It is recommended to use as a planting substrate a mixture of the following components:

    • leaf soil;
    • humus;
    • sand.

    These substances are taken in the ratio - 1:2:1.

    When all planting operations for ash seedlings are completed, the circle around the trunk should be covered with mulch: it can be peat, sawdust or wood chips. Large plants are recommended to be placed no closer than 5 m from each other. If among the planting material you have seedlings of low-growing varieties, then they must be placed in such a way that adult specimens do not create a shadow for each other.

    After a while you will have planting material in the form of a shoot . In the process of development, the tree forms an anchor root system, which is located in a lying position horizontally. The main roots eventually acquire vertical processes, which are the basis for the formation of young shoots. Therefore, having once planted an ash tree in the country, you will always have your own planting material.

    Ash tree care

    If you plant young ash trees in fertile soil, they will quickly increase in size and literally in a year will become 30-40 cm taller. At the same time, they do not require special care.

    Since new branches are formed very quickly in young ash, it can be pruned to give the crown the desired shape. It is advisable to do this in the spring before flowering. However, even when carrying out this event, you need to know the measure, since too frequent pruning can negatively affect the development of the tree. It is quite another matter if you have to remove dry and broken branches.

    Make sure your ash seedlings are supplied with all the nutrients they need. To do this, in the spring, nitrogen-containing fertilizers must be applied to the soil:

    • manure - 2 kg;
    • urea - 15 gr.;
    • calcium and ammonium nitrate - 25 gr each. for 20 liters of water.

    In autumn, use nitroammophoska (20 g per 20 liters of water) or Kemira-universal in the same proportion.

    Winterizing young trees requires mulching . They will need this operation only for the first 2-3 years. Adult specimens usually tolerate frosts easily, unless, of course, weather forecasters promise an unusually cold winter. However, even in this situation, a solution can be found, since there are special varieties that easily tolerate frosts down to -40 degrees Celsius.

    Ash needs moisture during periods of drought, as well as immediately after planting. At the same time, he feels great if he does not water for several days.

    Diseases of ash

    Most often ash trees are affected by hay bug (insect pest) or beetle (bark beetle). In this case, the fight against them is carried out using drugs such as kinmiks, uarbofos or karbofos. They need to process ash 2-3 times. Sometimes you can see how individual branches on a tree begin to rot. In this case, you need to remove the damaged areas with a sharp knife, and treat the wounds with activated charcoal. At the same time, you definitely need to understand why this happened. Possible causes include increased soil moisture or frequent fertilization.


    Our ancestors were well acquainted with such a plant as ash, because they often planted it near their homes. If you want to enjoy the view of this tree, for example, in your summer cottage, then for this it will be enough for you to get seeds or tree seedlings. However, keep in mind that it is possible to ensure a high survival rate of ash seedlings only if they are planted in a well-lit area where there is fertile soil . You also need to make sure that the plants are placed at the optimal distance from each other.

    Learn more