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What is a Flowering Ash?

Misty Amber Brighton
Misty Amber Brighton

A flowering ash, or Fraxinum ornus, is a tall, deciduous tree that produces fragrant flowers. It normally has dark foliage that changes color from season to season. It tolerates of a variety of soil and light conditions. It is also generally very hardy, and can usually withstand high winds without being damaged.

This tree can grow as tall as 50 feet (15.25 m) in height. It can sometimes spread as wide as it is tall. The overall shape of a flowering ash is often very round.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

The leaves of this species are normally a dark green color. They grow in pairs along the stem, with a single leaf at the tip. The foliage is usually oval-shaped with a somewhat pointed tip. In the fall, the leaves may turn from green to red or purple just before dropping off the tree.

Light-colored flowers normally appear in late spring and may remain throughout the summer. These blossoms usually have a very strong perfume. They can appear in clumps of long spikes, surrounding a reddish-brown center.

This ornamental tree often grows in many different soils, including those that are sandy, high in clay, or loamy. It can thrive in both alkaline and acidic soils as well. It may need to be fertilized from time to time with a phosphorus-based fertilizer, or be fed with organic compost, such as grass clippings or shredded leaves, which can be placed around it to enrich the soil.

A flowering ash can also tolerate being placed in either full or partial sun. It does not normally do well when placed in full shade, however. Ideally, this tree should receive around six hours of sunlight a day. It might need to be protected from direct sunlight in the afternoon when planted in hot, dry climates.

In many instances, a flowering ash can also withstand a lot of moisture. This may happen after a very heavy rainfall or in certain types of soils. Generally, the tree does not need to be watered once it is established, but may require irrigation in drought-like conditions.

Native to Asia and Europe, the flowering ash is grown in many areas of North America as well. The tree can be a nice addition to a commercial or residential landscape due to it compact shape and showy flowers. Gardeners who choose to grow this tree normally find it to be easy to care for and fairly resistant to insect damage and disease.

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      Man mowing the grass