Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), white ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. White ash, a native woodland tree found throughout the Midwest, had been used extensively as a shade and street tree. 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.
All common names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Chicago area,
- North America
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8,
- Zone 9
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Alkaline soil,
- Clay soil,
- Road salt
- Weak wood and branch structure
- Fall color,
- Persistent fruit/seeds
Seasons of Interest:
- mid fall,
- late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
- Game birds,
- Insect pollinators,
- Migrant birds,
Disease, pests, and problems
Susceptibility to the emerald ash borer makes this tree unsuitable for the landscape.
Native geographic location and habitat
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 purplish 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.