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Fraxinus excelsior

common ash

F. excelsior is a vigorous deciduous tree to 25m, with pale brown bark, dark green, pinnate leaves that turn yellow in autumn, and small deep purple flowers, followed by conspicuous bunches of winged fruits in late summer and autumn and black buds in winter

Other common names
ache
European ash
Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
Wider than 8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Sand
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Brown Green
Summer Brown Purple Green
Autumn Brown Yellow Green
Winter Brown
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Oleaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Genus

Fraxinus are medium-sized to large, mostly deciduous trees with attractive pinnate leaves, sometimes conspicuous flowers and autumn colour, and distinctive winged fruits

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe Caucasus

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How to grow

Cultivation

Excellent for woodland and coastal gardens where there is moist but well-drained alkaline or neutral soil and full sun

Propagation

Propagate by seed or grafting

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Ash dieback has recently been found in the UK. Restrictions have been put in place (from 29 October 2012) regarding both the importation of ash from abroad and the movement of ash within the UK

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