About the Green Ash Tree

By Elizabeth Hannigan , last updated February 4, 2011

The green ash tree, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, is just about the most common tree in America. It is the most widely spread of all the American ash trees and grows from Northern Florida all the way to Nova Scotia and west to Texas. You can recognize the green ash by its rich, bright green foliage. Lance shaped leaflets grow six to twelve on a twig and turn golden yellow in the autumn. This deciduous, broadleaf tree also goes by the names Darlington ash, red ash, swamp ash, water ash or white ash.

One of the reasons that green ash trees are so common is that they can grow in almost any condition. Green ash trees prefer full sun and moist, well-drained soil. They will tolerate almost anything though, including shade, drought, standing water, alkali soil, sand, loam, clay and frost. They will even tolerate things like urban pollution and heavy winds. Thus they are a good choice to plant if you live in or near a city or you need a tree to act as a wind barrier. Green ash trees are actually over planted in the United States because they are often chosen as the perfect species to repopulate forests. Green ash trees grow rapidly and can reach 70 feet in height and 75 feet in spread.

If you want to plant a green ash tree of your own, pick up a sapling and plant it in spring after the last frost has past. Keep your sapling well watered and fertilize it before it begins its new growth. One of the most important things to remember is to regularly prune your small tree. Regular pruning will help your green ash to grow a strong trunk. If you allow the green ash to grow unchecked, it could grow multiple trunks, which then cause the tree to split and collapse after it is full grown.

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