Typically used in industrial manufacturing, ash is a tree of the Oleaceae family mainly found in the forests of northern Europe. Appreciated for its rapid development and elegant bearing, ash is characterized by a pleasant sweet-scented blooming in the spring. Very sturdy over the years, this ornamental tree is ideal to enhance and embellish the remote corners of gardens.

Characterized by a particularly rapid growth, the ash is a tree that reaches its final size five years after being planted. Thus, from early adulthood, the ash usually reaches a height between thirty and forty meters.

Characteristics of an ash

Recognizable by its smooth and clear bark, the ash is a beautiful ornamental tree that comes in about sixty different species such as the “Fraxinus ornus” or “Fraxinus Americana”. Better known as the flowering ash, the ‘Fraxinus ornus’ is generally a very popular choice due to its magnificent spring bloom that reveals a flock of small white flower heads tinged with green. Delicately scented, this unique flowering allows the ash to be ranked among the trees best suited to gardens with rustic touches. Notwithstanding, a second species known as “Fraxinus Excelsior” or the common ash, may beautify gardens just as well by the particular tint its bark and foliage take during the fall.  Very rustic, ash does not fear harsh climates, making it ideal for areas where winter temperatures are low. For best results, select young plants sold in lumps that can be easily set in a remote area of ??your garden. If the Ash’s maintenance does not present any major difficulty once it is planted, one must nevertheless take note that this ornamental tree has very specific growth requirements that must imperatively be followed in order for the culture to be a complete success.

How to plant an ash tree?

Above all, it is very important to know that your tree must grow in a bright and sunny garden, as shade will do it absolutely no good. With regard to soil type, favour rich and fresh soil that is not too draining, as ash does not fear moisture. Even though you are able to put your tree in the ground from early spring until the arrival of summer, it is clearly preferable to plant in autumn, before temperatures begin to drop drastically. Before putting it in the ground, make sure that the ash will have large enough area to develop without its growth being hampered by the presence of another tree, wall or structure. For a fully successful planting, dig a medium-sized hole, place the slightly-moistened root ball in it, and cover with well-packed earth before watering generously. If you live in a windy area and believe that your seedling is still fragile, do not hesitate to stake it during its early stages of development. Thus, you can be sure that your tree will grow better, while developing more hardiness over time.

How to maintain an ash tree?

If the ash benefits from favourable conditions during its growth, its general maintenance will not provide any major difficulty. Accordingly, it is recommended to leave the tree to develop on its own, watering it regularly only during the first months after planting.  Nonetheless, under high heat, it should be ensured that the earth is not too dry so that the tree does not wither. Regarding pruning, trimming is usually not necessary as the ash grows quite steadily. Before its flowering, which occurs in spring, the ground may be enriched every two weeks with fertilizer to give the tree more vitality and stimulate its growth. Finally, it is useful to know that the ash is almost never victim to disease or pests, thereby facilitating its culture. However, it can sometimes be attacked by powdery mildew, a fungal parasite which will need to be quickly wiped out through sulphur treatments.

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Published in Large trees by Alexander on 04 Jul 2011