Tennessee Smart Yards Native Plants

A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants

Green Ash, Red Ash

Green Ash, Red Ash

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Full sun; moderately wet to moderately dry moisture level; soils include fertile sandy loams, medium loam, clay loam and clay; pH adaptable.

50-60 feet height by 25-30 feet spread; yellow to purple flowers on separate male and female trees in spring; female trees produce prolific amounts of drooping, clusters of tan-brown seeds, 1-2 inches long.

Growth Rate: Fast

Propagation: Seed germination code E. 60 days at a warm, moist temperature and then 120 days at 32-41 degrees F.

Maintenance: Due to fast growth rate, proper pruning needed to assure strong branching pattern. Brittle branches susceptible to wind damage. Infrequent disease problems and frequent insect problems. Emerald ash borer has wreaked havoc on native ash.

Native Region: Statewide

Green Ash has been one of the most widely planted street trees due to a good tolerance of the urban environment. Transplants readily and grows about anywhere. Prefers moist, humusy loams but established trees adapt to a wide range of soils and growing conditions. Deep green foliage turns yellow in fall. Native to open woodlands, stream and river banks, swamps, ditches, ravines and depressions. Cultivars available.

Planting of this tree is no longer recommended due to Emerald ash borer. Emerald ash borer can kill a tree within 3-5 years after infestation. Once infested, very difficult to control. Also susceptible to ash yellows which is caused by an organism similar to a virus, and once infected, not much can be done.

Generally low wildlife value. Larval host to Mourning Cloak, Red-spotted Purple, Tiger Swallowtail and several Sulphur butterflies. Provides good cover and nesting sites for birds.


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