Ash trees are a common and popular genus in the olive family and contain 65 species of deciduous and evergreen trees from temperate Europe, Asia and North America. Ashes make superb shade trees for large gardens. Typically the leaves are light to dark green, opposite and pinnate. The flowers, borne from spring to early summer in racemes, are usually insignificant, though often fragrant, and are followed by single-seeded, winged fruit.
In North America, the European Ash, or simply Ash tree in the UK, is one of the more attractive species in this large genus, but there is a new cultivar that has attracted a great deal of attention and has even earned an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. This is the Golden ash, or Fraxinus exelsior 'Jaspidea', a striking and vigorous ash with beautiful golden yellow new shoots set off by black buds, with yellow new leaves and wood that retains a yellowish tone at all times, which is particularly striking in winter. And Golden ash takes on a lovely clear yellow in autumn as well. This large, vigorous tree has year round appeal and the foliage, frothy and light looking, is especially beautiful when dressed in yellow. The combinations of red and burgundy foliage trees such as Maples and Sweet gums would be a brilliant match for this tree.
Golden ash grows large, as much as 60 feet or more, so it will need space. It is vigorous and trouble-free if given full sun and good drainage. It prefers cooler weather so is more suitable for the upper US and lower Canada. It is hardy throughout the UK and does well in New Zealand and temperate Australia.

As usual, this special tree will not be found in the popular landscape nurseries but more likely in a specialty, mail-order, plant nursery.

Golden ash



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