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Carolina Ash Fraxinus caroliniana

Other Common Name(s):

Description

Water Ash, is a long-lived deciduous tree that is native to the southeastern US. It is found in low wetlands in the coastal plains and Piedmont areas. The wood of this tree is soft and is not used commercially.  It does not tolerate salt spray or brackish waters. In nature it is an understory tree in moist to wet, shady sites with acidic soil.

The leaves are interesting, fairly large and pinnately compound. The winged seed pods hang in groups and add additional interest.

Use it in wet areas of the yard or where there is frequent standing water, pond margins, boggy areas or low-lying sites.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#native tree#boggy#interesting leaves#wetlands#wet sites#pond margins#NC native#swamps#bogs#long lifespan#Braham Arboretum#wet soils#showy seedheads
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#native tree#boggy#interesting leaves#wetlands#wet sites#pond margins#NC native#swamps#bogs#long lifespan#Braham Arboretum#wet soils#showy seedheads
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Fraxinus
    Species:
    caroliniana
    Family:
    Oleaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    S.E. U.SA. to Cuba, NC
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TX, VA
    Wildlife Value:
    Larval host plant for Eastern tiger swallowtail. It is an important forage plant for deer and seeds are eaten by waterfowl.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 25 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Samara
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Flattened broad-wing samaras are 1 1/2 to 2 inches long and 1/2- 3/4 inches wide. The wings hang well below the seed portion and there can be 2-3 wings. Matures in the fall.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Green to purplish flowers are dioecious and appear in spring in clusters.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The pinnately compound leaves have 5 to 9 leaflets and are 5-10 inches long. Leaflets are 2 to 4 inches long and 2 inches across with a usually serrated margin but sometimes entire. Upperside is dark green and the underside is paler and smooth.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Orange
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Scaly
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Irregular
    Bark Description:
    Scaly bark, gray to slightly orange-brown, sometimes splotchy. Irregular scaly ridges develop with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Twigs are smooth but sometimes fuzzy, gray-brown, with oval leaf scars.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pond
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Rain Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil