Common Ash

Fraxinus excelsior

Family: Oleaceae (oh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Fraxinus (FRAK-si-nus) (Info)
Species: excelsior (eks-SEL-see-or) (Info)



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)


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)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Pale Green

Medium Purple


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

From hardwood heel cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Aurora, Illinois

Orem, Utah

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 9, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I don't see this European species hardly at all in the Eastern or Midwestern USA. I do remember one good rounded specimen in northeast Illinois in a affluent neighborhood in the 1980's when I first was taking lots of plant photos for a class. European trees tend to not have as good a fall color as American or Asian trees. The native species in America are better in America.


On Mar 9, 2009, DMersh from Perth,
United Kingdom (Zone 7b) wrote:

Common Ash grows profusely in England, the seeds germinate much more readily than any of the other large trees in the UK. Very old trees can approach Oaks in size but is normally smaller than Oak or Chestnut trees, with a narrrow trunk, it grows a large canopy of fairly slender branches.


On Oct 6, 2004, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes,
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

A native of Europe and Asia Minor, this tree likes soils on the alkaline side. The bark is pale grey and it has black leaf buds in winter. It often develops holes and fissures as it ages, making it a haven for wild life of varying types.
The leaves turn butter yellow briefly in the autumn. The fruits have a wing attached to aid dipersal and are known as 'keys' in England.