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Friday, November 28, 2014

Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Green Ash

The green ash is one of the most commonly planted trees in the country because they're very fast growing trees and they provide shade in only a few years. We don't see as many here as in colder climates. As I said, they are fast growing, I have seen 3-5' of growth on some trees when planted as a bare root specimen. They will grow at least 2' a year when young and will eventually reach 70' with a broad asymmetrically rounded canopy. They are deciduous and will provide a weak yellow color that will last for a short period of time unless the weather is cold and they will fall overnight, sometimes still green. Most of the plants sold are male cultivars because females produce millions of fruit that will likely germinate.



Leaves are deciduous, opposite, pinnately compound, 6-9" long, with 7 elliptical to broadly lanceolate leaflets. Leaflets are about 1-2" long, having various amounts of serrations on the margins, may or may not have hair on the lower surface, but they usually do in the spring.





Twigs can be stout or thin on weak lower branches. Usually squared at the nodes. Buds are covered with hairs, copper colored, with the terminal being larger than the others. Usually three buds in the terminal location. Leaf scars are one key to correct identification. The bud sits on top of the semicircular scar.



Plants are dioecious, male and female. Developing early spring along with the foliage, usually slightly earlier. Many selections are males.

Females.


 Males.



Fruit is a narrow, straight samara, borne in large clusters, green turning brown and falling   about the same time as the leaves.




Bark is smooth, gray but eventually darker, furrowed, scaly or ridged.





Misidentification:
Ash trees can be tough to sort out. The bud and leaf scar are one important characteristic. Leaflet shapes, margins, bud color are other things to look at.

Location:
Aptos 125 Heather Terrace - Aegis Living

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