Red Ash
Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Location in Ontario

Red Ash grows throughout the Deciduous Forest Region and northward. It is found along sandy shores, river valleys and flood plains.


Large Red Ash, Long Point, Norfolk County
 
Genus Fraxinus
Leaves: Compound, opposite
Flowers: Monoecious or dioecious
Fruit: Samaras (a seed in a papery tissue)
Ontario Species: Black Ash, Red Ash, White Ash, Pumpkin Ash (Carolinian), Blue Ash (Carolinian)
Other facts:
*Ash trees are at risk to the Emerald Ash Borer (see the Tree Diseases page).
* Ash and Hickory are similar with compound leaves, but Ash leaves are opposite and Hickory leaves are alternate.
*A spring rhyme, referring to which leaves appear first; Oak before Ash you get a splash, Ash before Oak you get a soak.
 
In the Landscape
Red Ash is a medium sized tree, up to 25 metres tall, and living 100 to 150 years. Red Ash makes a good lawn tree with its nice form and leaves. It is risky to plant, however, due to Emerald Ash Borer.

TREE FACT: The name "Green Ash" is used for Red Ash trees which have hairless leaves, uncommon in Southern Ontario.

Leaves
Red Ash has opposite, compound leaves, with 5 to 9 leaflets. Leaves turn to yellow or gold in the fall.
Bark
The bark is grayish-brown with a diamond pattern, although the pattern is not as distinctive as White Ash. Sometimes it is tinged with red.
Flowers
Red Ash is dioecious (male and female flowers on different trees). Flowers are small and darkly coloured, and appear in early spring before the leaves. They are wind pollinated.
Fruit
The seeds, which are s
amaras, form in summer, and fall off in autumn. Some seeds persist into winter. Seed production occurs after 10 years of growth and seed crops usually occur every year.
Wood
Ash wood is hard and heavy. It is used for flooring and furniture, as well as hockey sticks, tennis rackets and tool handles.
Specific Gravity:
0.56
Janka Hardness: 1200 lb
Wood Comparison Chart

Genetics
Red Ash is diploid. It does not form hybrids, except with Velvet Ash, which does not occur in Canada, but is found in the United States.

TREE FACT: There is some evidence that Pumpkin Ash, a hexaploid, resulted from a cross between a diploid Red Ash and a tetraploid White Ash.


Red Ash, University of Guelph Arboretum

Link to United States Forest Service Silvics Manual: Red Ash

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