A medium growth tree reaching 60-90’X50’ with an elliptical canopy and preferring medium soil moisture. Has a tough time in clay soils but tolerates it with adequate water. Fall and winter watering is particularly important. Is somewhat drought tolerant. Produces copious amounts of seeds which can be messy but keep the birds fat. Vivid yellow to brown fall leaves can be spectacular on some trees.
Girdling roots are common and should be watched for and pruned, if necessary, at planting. Sunscald is very common on the southwest trunk of young trees (0-3 years) and recent transplants and should be wrapped from November through March to avoid the damage. Must be pruned as it grows to establish good branch structure otherwise it will likely develop poorly and fall apart in wind and snow storms.
Ash are effected by a number of leaf fungi that are usually not bad enough to warrant chemical control. Just rake up and dispose of infected leaf tissue when it fall s to the ground. Some cankers can be found on trunks and branches but usually only on stressed trees. Verticillium Wilt attacks stressed trees and will cause severe branch dieback or whole tree death in some cases. Ash ring spot is a virus that causes some twig dieback but it is rare and often minor.
Susceptible to a number of insects especially Ash Borer and Aphids. Ash borer will damage the trunk and kill the tree if left untreated for many years. Aphid populations can be heavy but do little to stress the tree health, they are however, unsightly and the honeydew can be a nuisance on walks and cars. Ash Flower Gall attacks the developing flowers in early spring leaving an unsightly brown crusty ball and often stunting leaf and twig growth for the year.
‘Autumn Purple’ is the most common White Ash in use. It is smaller, seedless and has an attractive deep purple foliage in the fall. Several others available as well.
History and Use
Very popular for tool handles and the wood of choice for the baseball bat. Also used in flooring, furniture, and lobster traps. Very hard wood with an appealing grain when finish sanded.