Fraxinus pennsylvanica - Green Ash
Family: Oleaceae

Hear the scientific name

Fraxinus pennsylvanica is a common, upright- to irregularly-shaped shade tree of rapid growth rate and infrequent, bright yellow autumn foliage. Green Ash is widely planted due to its urban tolerance, including areas exposed to winter salt spray.

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form Form

-large deciduous tree

-maturing at 50' tall x 30' wide

-upright oval growth habit, becoming rounded to irregular with age

-rapid growth rate

foliage Foliage

-medium to dark green and pinnately compound, casting a relatively dense shade, but lighter in shade than White Ash (Fraxinus americana) due to the more open character of the branching and slightly thinner leaflets

-leaflets (usually 5) are commonly serrated (but sometimes nearly entire) on the margins and are narrow ovate

-autumn color is often poor and usually a mixture of green and yellowish green in Oct., but is a bright golden-yellow in good years

Flowers

-dioecious (male and female trees)

-green to purple inflorescences in Apr. are not especially showy

Fruit

-green changing to brown clusters of samaras, with winged seeds littering the ground or gutters in autumn (prolific samara production may occur on female trees of this species)

Twig
twig

-stout (but not as stout as White Ash) and comparatively thin, olive changing to brown and lenticeled

-leaf scars half-moon-shaped (or D-shaped, with the "D" on its side) with a brown pubescent bud set directly on top of the flattened leaf scar

-lower branches become pendulous with age and curve upward at their ends

-species tends to be more twiggy than White Ash

trunk Trunk

-gray-brown bark is composed of flaky thin strips in youth, becoming deeply furrowed and ridged with age, with the ridges interlacing to form a diamondback pattern

-the furrowed pattern appears in smaller diameter branches than in White Ash

C   U   L   T   U   R   E
 

Culture

-full sun

-prefers moist, well-drained soils but is adaptable to poor soils, soil pHs, drought, pollution, soil compaction, and salt spray (very urban tolerant)

-propagated primarily by cuttings grafted onto seedling understock

-Olive Family, with a few disease and pest problems (including oyster shell scales and wood borers)

-abundantly available in B&B form

distribution map

Hardiness

-zones 3 to 9

Origin

-native to the forests of Eastern and Midwestern U.S. and Southern Canada; very common tree

U   S   A   G   E
 

Assets

-quick growth for a shade tree

-urban tolerance (including salt tolerance)

-ornamental bark

Liabilities

-some pest and disease problems

-interior shading leads to dead stem litter

-surface roots with age

Function

-shade, street tree, or wet site tree

Texture

-medium texture in foliage and medium-bold when bare

-thick density in foliage and when bare (at maturity)

S   E   L   E   C   T   I   0   N   S
 

Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species

Alternates

-shade trees, especially for urban areas (e.g., Corylus colurna, Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis, Robinia pseudoacacia, Ulmus 'Urban' and 'Homestead', etc.)

 


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