Arizona Ash Tree Diseases & Care
Written by A&P Nursery

Arizona Ash Tree Diseases & Care

One of the more common trees in Arizona is the Arizona ash tree (Fraxinus velutina) because of being able to adapt well with the sunny climate in the area. There are various types of ash trees growing around Arizona, more than 65 species throughout the state. This post on Arizona Ash Tree diseases & care will help you understand the challenges of owning these trees and give tips on how to care for them.

What is an Arizona Ash Tree?

An Arizona ash tree (Fraximus velutina) is known by a few different names including Fresno ash, velvet ash, leatherleaf ash, smooth ash, and desert ash. It is found mostly in the United States (SW) and Mexico.

The Arizona ash tree is a stout, majestic tree with deep green leaves and a rounded canopy. It can live up to 50 years with the right tree maintenance and care. The Arizona ash tree can reach as high as 40ft to 50ft and span as wide as 30ft to 40ft.

According to GardeningKnowHow, “Young Arizona ash trees display smooth, light gray bark that turns rougher, darker, and more textural as the tree matures. This deciduous tree provides great shade in summer, with bright golden yellow leaves in fall or early winter depending on the location.”

Ash Tree Species

Many of the ash tree species are listed on Wikipedia based on the region they can be located. Although, there are other woody plants which have “ash” in the name too. For instance, the prickly ash and mountain ash. These are not the same (genus fraxinus). The following list provides some of the common Arizona ash tree species, but this is only some of them.

  • Raywood ash – Fraxinus oxycarpa
  • Green ash – Fraxinus pennsylvanca (aka. ‘water ash’ or ‘swamp ash’)
  • Fantex ash – Fraxinus velutina (aka. ‘Rio Grande ash’)
  • Shamel ash – Fraxinus uhdei (aka. ‘tropical ash’)
  • Arizona ash – Fraxinus velutina (aka. ‘modesto ash’ or ‘velvet ash’)
  • Littleleaf ash – Fraxinus greggii
  • Goodding ash – Fraxinus gooddingii
  • Singleleaf ash – Fraxinus anomala
  • Chihuahua ash – Fraxinus papillosa
  • Fragrant ash – Fraxinus cuspidate

Ash Tree Characteristics

There are various positive features about the Arizona ash tree, but they also have downsides. The Arizona ash tree was labeled by Horticulturist Calvin R. Finch, PH.D as being ‘trash tree’ due to their life span only being about 30 years, along with other things.

The ash tree is a deciduous tree, meaning they will shed leaves when the growing season is over. There are many tree types that are referred to as being messy, and the ash tree is one of them. However, the majority of ash trees drop tehri leaves within about 2 weeks, limiting the messy period. They generally produce seedlings throughout the entire year or once a year depending on species, but often in large numbers. When you have ash trees and want a clean yard, you will be raking on occasion.

Most ash tree species will grow quickly, which results in having fast shaded areas, but this also has downsides. When trees grow quickly, it often results in surface roots. Ash tree roots tend to grow near the surface, they can be tolerant to rocky soils and alkaline soils. Although, Watson and Gilman described green ash trees within their Fact Sheet stating surface roots “may become annoying as they can lift sidewalks, curbs, and make mowing a challenge.” Finch added that the majority of ash trees “require regular pruning to avoid them becoming a tangled mess with frequent branch dieback.” Basically, you should expect to require trimming ever few years to keep ash tree’s healthy with a good branch structure. If trimming is ignored, it can cause weak growth and breakage. This is bad for multiple tree trunks, because they will eventually fall and could cause damage. Instead, establishing a single central trunk during the tree’s youth is best.

Prior to planting your new ash tree, there are things to consider. First, you want to ensure your yard is large enough to contain it, because ash trees grow quick, and large. The majority of ash trees mature at 40ft to 50ft, but there are species that get over 80ft high, and they all have round, full canopy’s.

Arizona Ash Tree Disease

Like various plants, the Arizona ash tree is open to many pests and diseases, including mildew, cankering, and different fungal infections. There are other problems that can occur, such as rust diseases, leaf scorch, webworms, mites, borers, and carpenter worms. The ash tree is particularly vulnerable when it comes to Verticillium wilt, a soil born fungus. There are regions through the country (mainly Midwest) which have emerald ash borer’s which have killed ash trees in the tens of thousands. Fortunately, they have not yet affected the varieties of Arizona ash trees.  The tree varieties which endure a poor environmental condition have a higher vulnerability to problems like these, making it significant to ensure fertilizing and watering are done adequately to keep the tree’s defense up.

Ash Tree Maintenance

When ash tress is well maintained, they can provide a beautiful and lush addition to your Arizona landscape. However, if you allow your ash trees to go without proper care and maintenance, they can end up being an eyesore and a poor element in your landscape. It can also be the nesting grounds for unwanted pests, and tree diseases. This is why it’s important to ensure proper care. There are ash tree species which have a slight drought resistance, but the majority of ash tree varieties will require plenty of water. To create the best setting for ash trees, a flood irrigation should in installed. Landscapes without an irrigation, flood irrigation should be mimicked using a garden hose for a deep soak one or two times a month.

If you’re living with an ash tree in Arizona, you will want to keep it healthy, so it has a nice appearance. Although, you should be ready to have an increased water bill. In addition, you may desire fertilizing the ash tree often. There are two benefits to mulching your ash trees. First, it enriches the soil as organic matter is broken down. Second, the mulch retains moisture from the watering to maintain wet soil for longer periods.

Although ash trees are not particularly simple to care for, having a healthy ash tree is worth the effort. When well cared for an Arizona ash tree provides great shade, and they are sure to improve your landscape.

Phoenix Valley Ash Trees for Sale

If you’re looking for the best stock of Ash Trees in the valley A&P Nursery can help!  With 4 east valley locations our team can help you find the perfect trees and plants to take your landscape from ordinary to extraordinary.  In addition to selling trees and plants we partner with companies that will plant your trees or plants and care for them as long as you wish.  That means all you need to do to get your landscape looking it’s best is stop by and browse our trees, choose your favorite, and leave the rest of the work to the pros.

Call or stop by one of our 4 locations today!

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