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Blue Ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata)

This plant is quite similar in appearance to the native white ash. The leaves retain their green color throughout the growing season. It is native to the state of Ohio and the tree for which Blue Ash, Ohio is named. The interesting aspect of this plant is that it is an alkaline soil indicator plant which should make it much more valuable for urban use than white ash. All ashes also have op-posite leaf attachment that make the formation of codominant leaders a possibility. Young trees should be checked and pruned for codominant leaders if necessary. Susceptibility to lilac borer, lilac leaf miner, and ash borer is similar to green ash.

Parks and open areas are ideal sites for this tree. Blue Ash grows to heights of 50 to 70 feet in the landscape. So, the plant is probably inappropriate for planting beneath power lines or in small tree lawns. It seems quite tolerant of construction and is more drought tolerant than white ash. According to Hightshoe this plant is resistant to 2,4-D, has intermediate resistance to salt and and soil compaction, and will tolerate excessive to moderately poor drainage. So we might assume that tolerance to wet feet is unlikely. 'True Blue' is reported to be a fast growing highly alkaline tolerant selection. 'True Blue' has small narrow leaves which maintain green color into Autumn, and a full crown. According to Dirr this tree also showed excellent drought tolerance and some borer resistance in urban tests. The tree is in limited producion in the nursery trade but can be found, and with increased use will become more available.

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T. Davis Sydnor, Ph. D. and Nick E. D'Amato
Urban Forestry Department
School of Natural Resources
The Ohio State University
2021 Coffey Road,
Columbus OH 43210
(614) 292-3865