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TREES & plants

Green ash (Not recommended)

Summer foliage of green ash.

Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), green ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. Green ash is a highly adaptable native tree; very cold hardy and tolerant of a wide range of soil pH and moisture levels. Currently, ash trees cannot be sold in Illinois. Check with your state for quarantine restrictions. 

"This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research."  

Botanical name: 
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
All Common Names: 
green ash, red ash
Family (English): 
Olive
Family (Botanic): 
Oleaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Tree
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Chicago area, 
  • Illinois, 
  • North America
Size Range: 
  • Large tree (more than 40 feet)
Mature Height: 
50-60 feet
Mature Width: 
25-40 feet
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 2, 
  • Zone 3, 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7, 
  • Zone 8, 
  • Zone 9
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil, 
  • Wet soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Tolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Tolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Tolerant
Planting Considerations: 
  • Aggressive, 
  • Weak wood and branch structure
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Fall color, 
  • Persistent fruit/seeds
Season of Interest: 
  • Early fall, 
  • Mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Inconspicuous
Shape or Form: 
  • Oval, 
  • Round, 
  • Upright
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
Transplants Well: 
  • Yes
Wildlife: 
  • Game birds, 
  • Insect pollinators, 
  • Migrant birds
More Information: 

Tree & Plant Care

This tree is tolerant of wet sites, dry sites, alkaline soils, poor soils and wind.

Disease, pests, and problems

Susceptibility to the emerald ash borer makes this tree unsuitable for the landscape.

Native geographic location and habitat

C-Value: 1

Commonly found in wet, lowland sites.

Bark color and texture 

The bark is light gray and loosely ridged and furrowed.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Compound leaves are in pairs (opposite), with 5 to 9 leaflets on each leaf.
Leaves are dark green in summer, changing to yellow or yellow green in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Male and female flowers on separate trees (dioecious).  Not ornamentally important.
Flowers appear in spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Fruit are winged seeds borne in clusters.

 

 

Fraxinus pennsylvanica or Green ash (Not recommended)