Botanical Name: Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Common Name: Green Ash
Origin: E. & C. North America
Notable Feature: While our native white ash (Fraxinus americana) may be the most impressive member of the genus, our native green ash is certainly the most widespread and most adaptable. It has an expansive geographic range and a wide habitat tolerance, cold hardy to USDA Zone 2.
Habit: A fast growing, deciduous tree that will mature to heights of 50 to 70 feet possessing a straight trunk and an irregular to rounded crown. The bark is smooth and gray on young trees becoming thick and fissured with age.
Flower: Dioecious (male and female flowers on separate trees). Both sexes are light green to purple and lack petals; females occur in loose panicles, males in tighter clusters. Appear after the leaves unfold.
Fruit: Winged fruit (samaras) hang in clusters from the twigs. Each consists of an elongate seed within the base of an elongate wing. When mature they detach and spin to the ground.
Foliage: Leaves 10 to 12” long with 7 to 9 leaflets are green on both the upper and lower surfaces and turn yellow in the fall. The leaf scars on the twigs are semicircular.
Interesting Fact: Ash trees are facing a potentially devastating threat from the Emerald Ash Borer. This Asian borer was first identified in 2002 in southeast Michigan and it has become the most destructive forest insect to invade the U.S. Tens of millions of ash trees have already been killed in North America. The damage of this insect rivals that of Chestnut Blight and Dutch Elm Disease.