The 'Rosehill' White Ash

This wonderful tree grows near Parking Lot 3A, the “event” parking lot, next to the Promenade walkway.

It is directly ahead of you as you enter Kendal from Route 1.

The Rosehill cultivar, a seedless male tree, was developed by Rosehill Gardens, Kansas City, from a single plant in the mid 1960’s. This tree was one of the originals selected at the founding of the Kendal Crosslands Arboretum in February 2013.

The White Ash (Fraxinus americana)is native to eastern North America, and is the largest of the native ashes, typically growing 60–80 feet tall. The foliage consists of dark green compound leaves with 7 leaflets (less frequently 5 or 9). In the fall the leaves turn a beautiful bronze or lemon yellow.

While White Ashes are reasonably resistant to various plant diseases, they cannot withstand the deadly Asian Emerald Ash Borer. This small beetle was first discovered in the USA in Michigan in 2002 and is spreading quickly; it will kill a tree within 3-5 years after infestation. Millions of trees have already died. At Kendal we are inoculating our ash trees on the campus grounds in an effort to save them. It is very sad that ash trees are going the same way as chestnuts and elms.

Rosehill White Ash trees were selected for the grounds of the St. Louis Gateway Arch; some 900 were originally planted, but a few years ago the National Park Service decided to remove them all, anticipating the approach of the ash borer. They are being replaced with London Plane trees.

White ash is a valuable timber tree, and is used for tool handles, oars, garden furniture and sports equipment, such as Louisville Slugger baseball bats.


Martin Wells and Judy Czeiner, Photographer