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Green AshFraxinus pennsylvanica

  • Northern Red Oak - Quercus rubra

This hardy shade tree has been a popular choice due to its fast growth, nice shade, and ability to adapt to a range of soil conditions. Since the onset of Dutch elm disease, the green ash has been heavily used as a replacement for the American elm in urban landscapes across the U.S. Unfortunately, now the green ash is coming under attack by the emerald ash borer, which is spreading across the country.

Hardiness Zones

The green ash can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 2–9. View Map

Tree Type

This is a shade tree, featuring a spreading canopy capable of blocking sunlight.

Mature Size

The green ash grows to a height of 50–60' and a spread of about 25' at maturity.

Growth Speed Fast Growth Rate

This tree grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The green ash grows well in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, wet and clay soils. It prefers wet soil conditions but has slight drought tolerance.


This tree:
  • Prospers under most conditions.
  • Tolerates soil compaction.
  • Features compound leaves 6–9" in length with 5–9 lance-shaped leaflets. They are a lustrous medium to dark green, turning bright yellow in the fall.
  • Produces green to reddish-purple flowers that are not ornamental, typically blooming in April.
  • Yields elongated samaras that are 1–2" long with a wing extending half-way or more down the cylindrical body of each.
  • Grows in an oval, upright or erect shape.

Wildlife Value

The seeds of the green ash are eaten by wood ducks, finches and cardinals. It also provides cover and nesting sites for birds.


The green ash has also been called red ash, swamp ash and water ash. It has replaced the white ash as the wood most oars and canoe paddles are made of.