Fraxinus pennsylvanica velutina (Torr.) G.S.Mill.
Fraxinus pistaciifolia Torr.
Fraxinus coriacea S.Watson
Fraxinus americana coriacea (S.Watson) Wenz.
Fraxinus americana pistaciifolia (Torr.) Wenz.
Fraxinus attenuate M.E.Jones
Fraxinus toumeyi Britton
Fraxinus standleyi Rehder
Common Name: Arizona Ash
Fraxinus velutina is a deciduous tree with a slender bole; it usually grows 8 - 12 metres tall, occasionally reaching 15 metres[
The plant is harvested from the wild for its wood. It is grown in shelterbelts and as an ornamental[
Fraxinus velutina has a widespread distribution in the US and Mexico, growing in a variety of habitat types. There are currently no specific threats known for this species and there is no evidence of population decline. A potential future threat is the Emerald Ash Borer to which this species of ash is susceptible. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2017)[
Southern and western N. America - California to Utah, sough to Arizona and Texes, northern and central Mexico
Along the banks of streams, rivers and moist washes, generally in canyons; at elevations up to 2,000 metres[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
Fraxinus velutina is a moderately cold-hardy plant, able to tolerate temperatures down to around -15°c when fully dormant[
Prefers a deep loamy soil, even if it is on the heavy side[
]. Most members of this genus are gross feeders and require a rich soil[
]. Plants succeed when growing in exposed positions[
] and also in alkaline soils[
]. They tolerate atmospheric pollution[
A recently introduced invasive pest, the Emerald Ash Borer has rapidly spread across much of N. America and is devastating the genus Fraxinus. The borer infests and feeds on all the North American ash species it has so far encountered. The nature of the infestation (larval feeding in the phloem) effectively girdles trees as small as 25mm in diameter, which is many years before reproductive maturity, leading to death within five years of infestation. The borer therefore causes virtually 100% mortality of Ash populations. The Ash species are unable to persist for very long through vegetative reproduction, and seeds only remain viable in the soilfor at most 7 - 8 years, so regeneration after borer infestation is minimal or nonexistent. Furthermore, the borer persists in forests in low population densities after major ash population crashes, so the orphaned cohort of ash seedlings that remains is quickly infested as they reach a suitable size[
A polymorphic species[
Trees brow best in the E. and S.E. of Britain[
A dioecious species - both male and female forms must be grown if fruit and seed are required.
A fairly wind resistant tree, it can be grown as part of a shelterbelt planting[
Fraxinus species in general are gross feeders with an extensive, fibrous root system, which makes transplanting easy, but means that other species will often not grow well if planted nearby, especially if they are shallow rooted[
The wood is close-grained, rather soft, not strong, fairly heavy. Used locally to make axe handles and in the manufacture of wagons[
The seed is best harvested green - as soon as it is fully developed but before it has fully dried on the tree - and can then be sown immediately in a cold frame[
]. It usually germinates in the spring[
]. Stored seed requires a period of cold stratification and is best sown as soon as possible in a cold frame[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions or a nursery bed in late spring or early summer of the following year.
If you have sufficient seed then it is possible to sow it directly into an outdoor seedbed, preferably in the autumn. Grow the seedlings on in the seedbed for 2 years before transplanting either to their permanent positions or to nursery beds.