Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Black Ash
Fraxinus nigra

Family: Oleaceae (oh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Fraxinus (FRAK-si-nus) (Info)
Species: nigra (NY-gruh) (Info)

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One member has or wants this plant for trade.


over 40 ft. (12 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage
Good Fall Color

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
8.6 to 9.0 (strongly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive nlafrance3 On Mar 29, 2015, nlafrance3 from Edmonton, AB (Zone 4a) wrote:

Very hardy tree all the way up to Northwest Territories, Canada. Zone 2 or hardier. Has problems with pests. Is a little picky about planting spot. Used to be a popular boulevard tree in Edmonton, Ab until all the trees started becoming diseased.

Neutral Rickwebb On Dec 12, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I bought a sapling in a 1 gallon pot from a native plant nursery named Redbud in southeast Pennsylvania in 2011. I gave it to Crows Nest Land Preserve near Reading, PA. I will have to check with the warden to see how it is doing now. It was good in 2012. Otherwise, I have only seen one specimen in the Ash Collection at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, ILL., planted near the little Du Page River. It is too close to the other ash species, needs more room. It can make a good shade tree, adapting to regular landscapes. I like its foliage with its longer leaves and many leaflets. Most common in the swamps of the northwoods of MN, ME, and such states.

Positive melody On Nov 12, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A tree of swamps and bottomlands. It's trunk bark is rather tight and furrowed but may be somewhat scaly. The compound leaves are 12" to 16" long. The tree can get quite tall ....from 40' to 80'.

This is also known as the Hoop, or Basket Ash. Short logs or planks when hammered repeatedly on the ends, split along the annual growth rings into thin sheets that can be cut into thin strips. These are used in making baskets, chair seats, barrel hoops, etc. Knotty burls on the trunk are made into veneers and fine furniture.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lisle, Illinois
Benton, Kentucky
Belfield, North Dakota
Birdsboro, Pennsylvania

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