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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fraxinus angustifolia 'Raywood' - Raywood Ash

The Raywood ash is a fast growing deciduous tree forming a dense oval to rounded canopy 35' by 20'. Trees tend to have clustered primary scaffold branches because the leaves are whorled so three branches can grow from one node. The Raywood ash was going to save us from the ash trees, but alas, like so many other perfect trees they never really panned out once in the landscape. Seems they are susceptible to a fungus called Botryosphaeria which causes ash decline.



Leaves are deciduous, opposite or whorled, odd pinnately compound, 7-8" long with 7 leaflets. Leaflets, reaching 2 1/2" long are lanceolate to elliptical with serrated margins, and a pointed tip. Dark green in summer, with a great red to purple fall color.



Undersides are lighter colored, you can easily see the serrations on the margins.



The start of fall color.



Better…...


About as good as we get.



Twigs are smooth, reasonably thin and square at the internodes. Buds usually clustered.



Flowers monoecious, male and female trees available, which makes little sense to me. Are there more than one form with this name? Must be.

Bark is pretty smooth. Commonly seen issue, clustered primary scaffold branches acting as co-dominate leaders, leading to failure later is life.



Also known as Fraxinus oxycarpa 'Raywood'

Misidentification:
Ash trees can be tough in colder climates but we don't have that many species planted here. Narrow leaflets (angustifolia means narrow leaf), usually 3 leaves per node are good characteristics to look at and a canopy that might be dying back due to disease, see the ones downtown. Other ash tree characteristics we can look for is the position of the bud in relation to the leaf scar, but that's not an issue with this plant.

Location:
Aptos
608 Cliff Drive (seen in the top picture)
Soquel Drive at Aegus, there is one planted with all the Green ash trees.

Santa Cruz
Downtown, Cedar St from Union to Church St.

Watsonville
about 270 W. Riverside Dr.

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