5 reasons to have an ash tree in the garden

fraxinus excelsior

fraxinus excelsior

Trees are a true natural wonder. Each and every one of them has characteristics that make them unique: some stand out for having very brightly colored flowers, others for the size they reach once they reach adulthood, others for being able to grow more than 1 meter per year. year, ... and others for its elegance, as is the case of the ash tree.

It is an ideal plant to have in medium-large gardens, where it will become a tree that the whole family will enjoy. You do not believe me? Discover this fantastic tree.

5 reasons to have an ash tree in the garden

Ash is a fast growing tree, which is great in medium to large gardens. As long as the weather is right for him, and he's within ten meters of pipes and such, he can be the star of the place. Therefore, we are going to give you 5 reasons why we consider it to be a great plant:

Provides shade in summer, light in winter

Fraxinus latifolia

Fraxinus latifolia

If you are looking for a deciduous tree, that is, one that loses its leaves in some season of the year -in this case, winter- the ash tree is a good option. With its 15 meters high and its wide canopy, in summer you can protect yourself under its branches from the intense sun, while in winter-spring you can enjoy the flowers of the bulbous plants that you want to plant.

Its flowers are very decorative

Fraxinus ornus

Fraxinus ornus

The flowers, which are grouped in inflorescences, are very showy, white in color. Sprout in late winter when the rest of the plants are still hibernating, and they remain on the tree until early summer.

It grows in all types of soils

fraxinus excelsior

fraxinus excelsior

The ash tree is an "uncomplicated" plant. It can grow in all types of soils, including calcareous ones. Yes indeed, needs regular waterings since it does not resist drought. In fact, it grows naturally in humid and cool mountain areas, so in order for it to develop in the best possible way we have to provide it with plenty of water (without puddling the soil).

It gets lovely in the fall

The ash tree becomes beautiful in autumn

Image - Flickr / Matt Lavin // Fraxinus pennsylvanica in autumn

Ash is an amazing tree. In spring and summer it has green leaves, but in autumn ... things change. Depending on the species, it can have them redLike Fraxinus americana or Fraxinus ornus, or yellow such as fraxinus excelsior.

Resists cold without problems

Fraxinus angustifolia

Fraxinus angustifolia

If you live in an area where winter temperatures drop to -12ºC, you won't have to worry. Ash withstands cold and frost without problems. So what are you waiting for to get one?

What is the care of the ash tree?

Ash is the common name for species of the genus Fraxinus. These trees can become very large, and have a very leafy crown, so they are great to plant in those large areas. But in order for them to be truly enjoyed, it is important to consider their needs, otherwise it would not be surprising if problems would arise within a few years of planting them in the ground:


You need to feel the passing of the seasons, as well as the wind, the sun, the rain. Therefore, must always be outside, without protection. He may need a guardian while he's young to help him stay upright, especially if the wind blows regularly.

Remember to plant it at least ten meters from where you have pipes.

When to plant the ash tree in the garden?


If you want to have an ash tree in the garden, you should know that there are several ways to plant it. And therefore several specific moments.

In case you opt for plant it from seed, in addition to arming yourself with a lot, a lot of patience, you will have to do it in spring, since it is the best time for them to germinate, when the cold is over.

However, if you prefer to go for a root balled tree, then consider always planting it in the fall. Of course, during that first year you must protect it from winter, frost and extreme cold so that it does not deteriorate (keep in mind that it has to get used to its new location).


Prefers soils rich in organic matter, that is, fertile. It tolerates waterlogging, but will not live if the ground is kept dry for a long time.

In case you want to have it in a pot for a while, or if it is still a seedling, you can grow it in a pot with universal substrate, or mulch.


The ash tree wants water, and enough. Does not resist drought at all; in fact, I had one myself (I live in Mallorca, where the climate is typical Mediterranean, with heat and drought in summer) and the leaves began to turn brown when they lacked hydration.

Ideally, water it 3-4 times a week during the hottest and driest time of the year. In winter, as its activity will be drastically reduced due to the drop in temperatures, it will have to be watered less, once a week or so.


Ash is a fast growing tree

It is interesting that, during spring and summer, you put some type of organic compost on it. For example, guano, mulch, or compost.


The ash tree does not need pruning, as it is a tree whose beauty lies precisely in its natural growth and development (that is, not forced by humans). Yes, it is advisable to cut the dry branches at the end of winter, but nothing more.

Plagues and diseases

ash tree

Although the ash tree is a tree that you might consider weak, the truth is that it has some pests and diseases that, by attacking it, can easily end its life. In fact, it is a big problem and the reason why you will have to watch it to prevent them or to act in time in case they occur.

The most common and those that can put the life of the tree at risk are the following:


It is produced by a fungus, Chalara fraxinea. It is perhaps the most dangerous and deadly thing that can affect it, and that is that it attacks any ash tree, regardless of its age and condition.

It is characterized by causing necrosis in the branches, leaves and little by little in the whole tree. As if it dried.

Worst of all, there is no cure, and the only way to keep it from affecting others is to nip it in the bud and burn it as soon as possible.

Agrilus planipennis

This strange name is actually that of a beetle. One that can be deadly. It affects many ash trees because this animal is able to live in the wood of the tree.

In North America, for example, they are fighting this plague because if it affects the ash tree, it kills it without being able to remedy it.

sphinx ligustri

It is another of the pests that must be watched, especially in the months of July and August, which are when they are most likely to appear. And what is? Well, we are talking about a lepidoptera, that is, a flying insect, which attacks the ash tree at night.

Its presence can be detected in the tree because it causes complete defoliation.

abraxas pantaria

Continuing with the beetles, you should not only worry about one, but several. Another of the important ones that are a pest for the ash tree is this one that damages the tree in several phases: as a larva, it will consume the leaves and cause defoliation to occur. At this stage, it can be removed. Already in the adult phase it is more complicated, and what it does is completely consume the tree.

emerald borer

This insect, a mix between a wasp and a beetle, is a major problem for ash trees, because they can kill them in a very short time.

Being an adult does not cause problems. Until the moment of laying the eggs arrives. When this happens, this animal is capable of making a hole at the base of its trunk and leaving its eggs there. Upon hatching, the larvae enter the tree and consume it from the inside. In other words, they kill them.

lytta vesicatoria

Another of the pests that you cannot lose sight of in ash trees is this, that of a beetle (another beetle) characterized by having a body with metallic reflections (and measure between 15 and 20mm) that can completely defoliate the plant.

Root rot

This sickness It has to do with excessive risks., which causes the leaves to look yellow or brown and fall off. The problem is that, when we see it like this, we tend to end up watering more and of course, we kill it completely.

ash TB

It is caused by a bacterium, the pseudomonas syringae, capable of creating lumps on the trunk of the tree as tubercles. At first they are isolated, and it is possible that for that reason you do not give importance to it, but as time goes on new ones will form and weaken the plant itself.

The only solution in these cases is to remove those parts and apply some treatment to prevent it from spreading (such as a cupric fungicide).


Resists up to -18ºC.

What types of ash are there?

european ash

After all we've talked about, there's no doubt that the ash is one of the most imposing and beautiful trees you could have in your garden for many, many years. However, one thing you may not know is how many types of ash trees there are. Because we not only have one species, but many.

Specifically, and related to the genus Fraxinus, to which the ash tree belongs, we can find about 60 different species. What does it depend on? Well, from the area of ​​the world as well as from the growth that it has.

Not all of them are known, and in fact giving you a list would be too boring, so we are going to tell you a little about which are the most representative and which are easier to find.

Fraxinus americana

It is capable of measuring more than 15 meters and is resistant to frost and extreme cold. Its trunk is very straight and grows very fast, developing a large crown. Its leaves are deciduous and are characterized by having between 5 and 9 green or yellow lanceonate leaves in autumn.

Fraxinus angustifolia

It is also called the "southern ash" and the truth is that it is one of the largest. Can reach 25 meters in height and has a gray trunk. The leaves (always three by three) are made up of about 11 leaflets and it also has flowers, although these are not very pretty.

fraxinus excelsior

You may not know him by this name, but in reality it is the European ash, the most common of all. It has dark brown branches and trunk and green leaves that turn yellow in autumn.

Fraxinus ornus

It is capable of growing up to 12 meters high and is characterized by its green leaves accompanied by very fragrant white flowers. Yes, it is from deciduous leaf and the flowers remain a few months (between the end of spring and the beginning of summer).

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

It is called the American red ash, or green ash. It can reach 15-20 meters in height and is characterized by having a very straight trunk with a wide crown that provides a lot of shade.

How are the roots of the ash tree?

We must warn you that the ash it is a tree whose root system is not small to say the least. Nor weak. It seeks moisture and is capable of developing fairly large and strong roots. So much so that they could damage the buildings around them.

Thus, it is recommended that, at the time of putting it, there is no one in a radius of 10 meters. In this way we will ensure that the tree does not negatively affect any construction.

How does the ash tree look in the fall?

european ash branches

One of the most beautiful characteristics of the ash tree is the ability to change the hue of its leaves. While in spring and summer they are usually dark green, in autumn they change to yellow. Yes, it will look as if they fell off, but it is actually something from the tree and will last for a few weeks.

In addition, it also has white flowers, very showy and with an intoxicating aroma.

What do you think of the ash tree?

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  1.   Frederick Leitner said

    Hello Monica. I also have an ash tree in addition to the flamboyant. I saved it from being pulled out by the masons. The bathroom of the barbecue at home and its drains pass very close. The wall about 75 cm and the drain more or less 1 mt. I know I will have problems later. He is about 7 years old and has a height of 6 to 7 meters. A trunk at its base of 20 to 25 cm. And it is very leafy. I have not pruned any branches. He is very healthy. Will it be necessary to prune it so that it spreads more horizontally? Since I am in the same entrance. I also have a bald cypress of about 3 to 4 years (I bought it 3 years ago and it must have been 1 year in the nursery) it reached 4 meters and does not grow. But, it develops infinity of branches and thousands of leaves towards its periphery. The trunk is 30 cm at its base but higher up it is very thin and it is not possible to distinguish which is the main trunk. Well, thank you very much.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Federico.
      If you want to prune the ash tree, you can do it in autumn or late winter. The problem is the height of the tree. The ideal for it to emit lower branches is by cutting the main branch, but since it is already 6-7m high my advice is that you fertilize it with fertilizers rich in nitrogen.
      Regarding the Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum). I do not advise you to prune it. This is a species that over time takes on a pyramidal shape; so if you prune it now, you might have a weird tree 🙂.
      Anyway, if you want to upload photos to tinypic or imageschack, copy the link here and I'll tell you.
      A greeting.

  2.   Mark romero said

    Hello, I want to plant an ash tree, I have already planted 9 birches, 15 chestnut oaks, horses and Americans, also pines of Oregon, Monterrey, wild pinyon and rodeno, etc.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi marcos.
      Good luck with your trees 🙂
      A greeting.

  3.   Veronica said

    Hi Monica, I planted two flower braces of approximately 2,50 meters, they are still very young. My question is how long it takes them to grow up and become adults, since my idea is to have shade. Thanks in advance.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Veronica.
      Ash trees grow fast, especially if they have a constant supply of water. If they do, I don't think they take more than 3-4 years to shade.
      A greeting.

  4.   facundo said

    Hello, I want to ask you if the ash tree lifts the sidewalk.
    They told me in the nursery that a kind of vault is made, so that the roots grow downwards

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Facundo.
      Yes, ash roots are invasive and can lift soil.
      Another option is to make a large planting hole, 1m x 1m, and place an anti-rhizome mesh on it. So the roots will also grow downward.
      A greeting.

  5.   Daniel Frank said


    1. How much do the roots of ash trees measure?
    2. I can plant it near a cistern

    I await your answer, greetings

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Daniel.
      It is recommended to plant them at a distance of at least 10 meters from any construction, pipes and others.
      a greeting

  6.   Christian said

    Hi Monica, I like your article, and I see that the ash tree is quite an imposing tree, my concern is about its roots, can they affect the foundations or buildings that are near it? or how many meters should it be away from such constructions such as fences or houses ??? I hope you can help me. Greetings. Thanks

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi, christian.
      We are glad that you liked the article.
      Yes, ash roots are very invasive. It must be planted at least 10 meters from buildings.
      A greeting.

    2.    Pearl Coral said

      Good evening I planted a neem tree 1 month ago I would like to know if its roots can damage the fence or wall it is not far from 2 walls but it is about 4 meters from my house

      1.    Monica Sanchez said

        Hello Pearl Coral.
        The root system of the neem tree is highly developed. It has a robust taproot (or main), and other secondaries that spread quite a bit over time.

        As it has only been in the ground for a month, I recommend you extract it with roots, and plant it at a distance of about 7 meters or so from the house.


  7.   Dante Alighieri said

    Hello, all ash trees have roots that can lift the soil or does it depend on how long one lets it grow? Thanks

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Dante.
      Yes, all ash trees can cause problems if planted in unsuitable (for them) locations.
      A greeting.

  8.   ANGEL BERNAL said

    I require 70 ash trees and 100 grevilia
    Some place to quote please

  9.   George said

    Hello, I have a Fraxinus Udhei ash tree that is one meter high that I am going to plant but I have dug a circle of 1 meter in diameter and I put bricks around it. How deep and wide do I dig it so that the roots do not break the ground when it is big?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Jorge.
      The roots of plants, even the largest ones, do not usually go deeper than 60-70cm. But in the case of ash, they do extend a lot, several meters.

      The hole you made is great, but if you can get rhizome mesh it would be great. More than anything to prevent. But if it is going to be about 10 meters from the ground you do not have to worry.


  10.   claudio said

    Hello Monica!. Your article is very interesting.
    I planted an American ash tree in mid-April 2019, one meter from sewer pipes and two from my house, this species also has invasive roots that can cause damage to structures?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Claudio.
      Unfortunately yes, all ash trees are trees that should be planted as far away from houses and pipes as possible.

  11.   Jackie said

    Thank you very much for your article, I have an excellent copy. It is just over 10 meters high and the same wide. Both the trunk and the tree in general look quite strong and healthy. My concern is to know how long this tree can be and how likely it is that this type of species will collapse in a storm. I have and one in the back of my house and it's very close to my neighbors' house. Thanks!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Jackie.
      Ash trees have a life expectancy of 150-200 years.

      Regarding how likely they are to fall, the longer they have been planted in that area, the lower it is. It will also depend a lot on whether during the storm there are very strong gusts of wind (of 100km / h or more), how long these phenomena last, and also on the characteristics of the terrain, since in very porous soils it is easier for them to fall.

      A greeting!

  12.   Virginia said

    Hi Monica, I have two ash trees that are between 17 and 20 years old, to place a pool (pool) at what distance would it be recommended? Thanks

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Virginia.
      Ash trees have very invasive roots. At least they must be ten meters from swimming pools, walls, etc.

      1.    Miguel said

        Hello Monica, the article is very interesting and has a lot of information about ash, I have a seed one planted in a pot, it is still small about 5 or 6 cm but it grows fast. My question is, could it be kept in a pot? Since I do not have space to plant it in the ground or could I not bear to be in such a small space? Thank you and best regards.

        1.    Monica Sanchez said

          Hi miguel.

          Well, it is not his thing, but yes, you can have it in a pot. In fact, it is often worked as bonsai. So in a pot it can be kept as a tree or even as a shrub, as long as it is pruned clearly.


  13.   Natalia said

    Very interesting article.
    I have ash trees in my garden and I love them! There are 2 of them, one of them female and the other male, so every spring I have a trail of seedlings in the ground.
    I would like to know if there is any way to identify the male from the female, since I would like to let a male grow, which does not have the seeds like the female, because it is very dirty in autumn ...
    Thank you very much!

  14.   Cecilia said

    Hi how are things! I have an ash tree in the backyard of my house, which is very small, and where I have no soil, only a material floor. We found out that its roots are invasive because it lifted the whole floor for us. The tree should be between 15 and 20 years old, approximately and measures 7 or 8 meters. My question is if the roots can be pruned without damaging the tree, since it gives us very good shade. I look forward to your response. From already thank you very much.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello cecilia.

      Unfortunately, no. If the roots are pruned, the tree will have a hard time. What you can do is prune it, to reduce its height. But beware, you have to do it little by little. In a year you cannot cut 50 centimeters of the trunk because most likely it will not survive. But you can cut 10-15cm each time. This must be done in late winter, a little before its leaves sprout.

      Thus, with fewer branches to feed, the roots would not grow as much.


  15.   Monika said

    Dear Monica! I would have a question about the ash tree: how deep do its roots go? Can a stronger wind blow it down? The point is, I just grew a tall ash tree in my garden. Although I am happy for him, but my neighbor is not, because he thinks the wind will decide it, and his house is about 10 meters away. If my ash tree is stable, its roots hold up well, I don't want to cut it down. Although the neighbor is upset about the few who fall, it is just a little work, but if he could really fall, it would already be a serious problem. I await your kind response, which I thank in advance.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Monika.

      Well, let's see, the adult ash tree that has been on the ground for years and years is difficult to fall. The roots are very long, being able to measure more than 10 meters in length.

      But of course, an adult tree is not the same as a young one. For this reason, if the wind blows strongly in your area, I recommend protecting it by nailing one or more stakes and tying it with a resistant rope, such as raffia; or with plastic ties.


  16.   OLGA said



    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Olga.
      Well, you have the option of trimming the tree a bit. That is, if its branches are, for example, 2 meters long, you could cut them about 30cm or so, but not more because it would suffer a lot. The following year, you could cut a little more, as lower branches would have sprouted.
      But this pruning is done at the end of winter. In addition, you have to put healing paste so that they heal well.
      A greeting.