Fraxinus excelsior
Common name: 
Euopean Ash
Common Ash
Pronunciation: 
FRAKS-i-nus ek-SEL-si-or
Family: 
Oleaceae
Genus: 
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree, to 85(100+) ft [~25(30+) m] high and an equal or even somewhat greater width, round headed and broad spreading.  Dormant buds black.  Leaves opposite, pinnate compound, 25-30 cm long, 7 to 11 leaflets, sessile, each 5-10 cm long, ovate-oblong to ovate-lanceolate, tip long acuminate, base wedge-shaped (cuneate), margin serrate, dark green above and lighter green below, soft, shaggy hairs (villous) on midrib below; fall color green to yellow.  Winter buds black or nearly so.  Flowers are without petals, in dense purplish clusters and open before the leaves, not ornamentally important; there may be male and female flowers on the same or separate trees or even bisexual flowers on the same tree.  Fruit (samara) winged, 2.5-4 cm long, tip obtuse to emarginate to acute.
  • Sun.  
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5    Native to British Isles, Europe and Caucasus, cultivated for centuries.  One of the largest deciduous trees in Europe.
  • excelsior: higher, taller.
  • Not often used in landscapes in North America.  However some of the yellow-leafed selections are exceptions.  Two such selections are:  'Gold Cloud'  and Golden Desert®
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, one and several trees

    plant habit, one and several trees

  • leafy shoots

    leafy shoots

  • leaf

    leaf

  • leaflets, underside

    leaflets, underside

  • immature fruit cluster and fruit

    immature fruit cluster and fruit

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • buds

    buds