Authors as Published

Alex X. Niemiera, Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture, Virginia Tech

(Fraxinus pennsylvanica)


Foliage: Deciduous broadleaf

Height: 60 feet

Spread: 50 feet

Shape: Spreading

This large fast-growing tree is very tolerant of adverse conditions. Its fall foliage color is a yellow.

Plant Needs:

Zone: 3 to 9

Light: Full sun

Moisture: Wet, moist, or dry

Soil Type: Sandy, loam, or clay

pH Range: 3.7 to 8.2


Suggested uses for this plant include shade, street tree, and specimen plant.

Planting Notes:

Transplants readily and is very adaptable.

Plant in full sun.

Tolerates wide range of soil conditions.

Once established, tolerates high pH, salt, drought, and sterile soils.

Select seedless varieties to avoid litter problem from fruit-bearing trees.


When required, prune in the fall.

Prune dead twigs and branches anytime.


Problems include canker and dieback, which result in dead wood.

Borers can be a serious pest when plant is young. The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a very serious threat to ash trees. If you have the EAB in your area, do not plant ash trees. The EAB has invaded northern Virginia and will most likely spread to other areas.

Seedlings can become a problem in flower beds and other unwanted areas. Therefore, select male cultivars.


Consult local garden centers, including historic or public gardens and arboreta regarding cultivars and related species that grow well in your area.

Cultivars of Fraxinus pennsylvanica:

`Marshall's Seedless' (same as ‘Marshall’) is a male clone which forms an upright, oval shape and has fewer pest problems than the species.

‘Patmore’ is a non-fruiting form that is relatively pest free.

`Summit' is a male tree with upright, pyramidal growth and excellent yellow fall foliage color.

White ash (Fraxinus americana) is similar to green ash but generally has a purple fall color.

There are several cultivars in the trade with various shape, fall foliage color, & non-fruiting aspects. White ash is also susceptible to EAB.


Green ash is a vigorous tree while young and is a popular tree because of its adaptability and fall foliage color. If the EAB is prevalent in your region, then do not plant ash trees.


This material was developed by Carol Ness as part of the Interactive Design and Development Project funded by the Kellogg Foundation.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

May 1, 2009

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