How Quickly Do Ash Trees Grow Annually?

How fast do ash trees grow

The ash tree belongs to the Fraxinus genus from the olive (Oleaceae) family. It is a beautiful deciduous woody plant. Accredited for its dramatic branch structure and sparse foliage, the ash tree is a landscape delight.


Typically ash trees live for 100+ years, but how fast do ash trees grow to reach their mature age, depends largely on their variety and maintenance.


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The ash trees have enjoyed their dominance in the United States, especially in the urban regions, because of their pollution tolerance. But, today, you can spot them from USDA growing zones two through nine, covering many corners of the world.


They are popular amongst commercial growers and homeowners. Hence, you can spot them in the temperate parts of Africa and the Arctic Circle.


Typically, an average ash tree can grow about 100-120 feet, provided it receives the right growing conditions.


How Fast Do Ash Trees Grow Per Year?

Typically, an ash tree has a moderate to fast growth rate. In a year most ash trees grow between eighteen to twenty-five feet per year.


However, particular species, when planted as ornamentals, grow at an average height of two feet per year in the initial years. But, if planted closely in rows with other trees, they depict a slower growth rate.


On the contrary, some, like European ash, have a much slower growth rate. They grow a maximum of eighteen feet in 10 years.


What other conditions decide how fast does an ash tree grow?


Broadly, it depends on the care ash tree receives in terms of climatic and environmental factors. Hence, light availability, soil quality, and other factors also determine ash tree’s growth rate.


Moreover, maturity time may also be variable for different ash trees. On average, you will see them growing between 40-60 feet at maturity, but some species even get 80 feet tall. Depending upon the available growing conditions, an ash tree may take between sixteen to sixty years to reach its full size.


How Fast Do Ash Trees Grow From Seeds?

Ash tree seeds have long germination periods. Collect a handful of seeds, pre-treat them and wait for a full summer before you can actually plant them. Fresh seeds do not have a developed embryo so you need to give it time to develop. If the seed is kept well under favorable conditions, the seed takes about 18 months to germinate.


Germination from seeds is the trickiest part keeping in mind how quickly do ash trees grow once they  turn into a healthy sapling.


Growth Rate of Different Types of Ash Trees

1. White Ash Tree Growth Rate

It is often a tedious task to cultivate a white ash tree. If they do not surrender to a disease, they can live for two centuries. But, how fast does an ash tree grow per year? They have a moderate growth rate and only grow a foot or two per year. Upon maturity, they reach somewhere between 50 to 80 feet, with a 40-50 feet spread.


For white ash seed germination, the seeds should be warm for a month. It will help the small embryo to develop within the seed. To cater to the physiological dormancy, you need to back it with the moist chilling stratification for two months. After this, you can sow the seeds in a pot to yield a seedling.


2. Black Ash Tree Growth Rate

Black Ash Trees have a moderate to fast growth rate. However, horticultural experts regard it as a slow-growing species. Please remember that it is a shade-intolerant plant and cannot establish well in such disturbances.


However, it will have a faster growth rate in a well-drained spot. On average, they grow between 40 to 70 feet with a two-foot trunk diameter. But, how quickly do ash trees grow from the seeds?


For the black ash trees, seed germination is a multi-stage process. It involves scarification and stratification. Under normal conditions, it may take about two to three years.


3. Green Ash Tree Growth Rate

Green Ash trees have a relatively faster growth rate. They can grow over 24-inches per year. But, these are medium-sized plants with a mature size of fifty to seventy feet.


It implies they can reach their full height in about twenty-five years. But, they have a long lifespan of 150 years. So for over a century, you can see your plant living at its full height.


They have a decent width between 35-50 feet. Hence, typical green ash has an oval shape, with a spreading and an erect canopy. While young, they appear pyramidal.


4. Blue Ash Tree Growth Rate

Blue Ash Trees are slow-growth, long-lived plants. But, their growth rate is still faster than several deciduous hardwood trees. But, compared to other ash trees, their growth rate is slow.


Usually, in favorable circumstances, a blue ash tree grows eight to twelve inches a year. A mature blue ash tree grows fifty to seventy-five feet tall with twenty-five to thirty-five feet in width.


Their germination rates are low, but they have a high seed production rate. In most cases, it is as little as seven percent.


5. How Fast Do Arizona Ash Trees Grow?

Arizona ash trees are deciduous, fast-growing plants. So, from this variety how quickly do ash trees grow in a year? Well, they can add from eighteen to twenty-five feet in a decade. Depending on the available growing conditions, the plant is approximately forty-five feet and has a twenty-five to forty-five feet spread.


But, it is a short-lived plant and tends to die in fifty years. For the Arizona ash trees, seed germination is a multi-stage process. You can stratify them for three months and sow them in ¼ to ¾-inch soil. Then shading them for seven to fourteen days can prove beneficial.


6. How Fast Do Fan Tex Ash Trees Grow?

Botanically known as the Fraxinus velutina ‘Rio Grande’, the Fan Tex ash trees have a rapid growth rate. So, once planted, you can sit back and watch them grow. The tree adds about thirty-six inches to its height every year.


Upon maturity, the Fan Tex ash trees are about fifty feet. So, if you seek a fast-growing ash tree, this can be a perfect go-to pick. It is a deciduous plant and offers shade across its perennial range in the USDA hardiness zones six through eight.


7. How Fast Do Mountain Ash Trees Grow?

It is a shade tree, which is predominantly famous amongst the birds. The tree grows about twenty to twenty-five feet tall and has an almost equivalent spread between twenty to thirty feet.


Mountain Ash has green foliage and an oval habit, which changes its color to fall. So, how quickly do ash trees grow from this zone? They have a slow growth rate, typically less than 12-inches a year. But, they have a long lifespan and live for as long as four centuries.


For seed germination, soak and drain them for a day, followed by stratification that takes 150 days at temperatures between three to five degrees.


8. How Fast Do Raywood Ash Trees Grow?

Raymond Ash trees thrive in the Southwest. They can tolerate nutrient-poor soil but thrive in full sun. These are deciduous, fine-textured trees that can reach around eighty feet. However, most varieties are between forty to fifty feet high.


These grow straight up in the initial two to five years of plantation. Generally, they are fast-growing plants and have twenty-five feet spread. It yields no seeds and is called the ‘Claret Ash.’


9. How Fast Does A Texas Ash Tree Grow?

Native to the countries surrounding Dallas, the Texas Ash is a spectacular shade tree that is easy to maintain. It has low fertilizer needs and is drought tolerant.


Botanically called the Fraxinus texensis, the Texas Ash is an excellent fast-growing plant with 2.5ft growth per year. But, it does not grow very tall and has a small to medium height between thirty and forty-five feet.


How Do You Do Ash Tree Identification?

So you have sufficient clarity on how fast do ash trees grow. Now, let us move forward and understand ash tree identification.


Given the characteristic similarities, it is often common for people to mistake Ash Tree for Hickory, Boxelder, Black Walnut, or Dogwood trees. Hence, it is vital to know the distinguishing features to differentiate an ash tree from others.


Here is the step-by-step guide to follow:


A. Browse through the branches

  • Pull a branch from the tree for a closer visual or look around the tree, searching for the dead branch dropped onto the ground.
  • Do these have opposite branching? Do all branches commence from one point when they join the primary branch? For instance, Maple Trees, Dogwood, Ash Trees, and Boxelder have such branching systems.
  • If not, you will see alternative branching, meaning the branches alternative left and right as the stem from the primary branch. For instance, Oak, Butternut, Hickory, Quaking Aspen Trees, and Cottonwood have this branching system.
  • Now, look for the buds for impending branching. Are they opposite or directly across each other? Some buds fall off or die and lose a mate.


B. Browse through the leaves

Look for branches that have leaves on them, and check their structure. Typically, an ash tree does not have a single leaf structure. Instead, they will have a compound leaf structure.


Now, assess the stem’s thickened base, and see if there is one leaf or shorter five to eleven leaflets branching of one nucleus.


C. Combine the assessment from A and B to decide if it is an Ash tree

The only confusion here may be that both Ash and Boxelder trees have compound leaves and opposite branching. But, the latter has a maximum of three to five leaflets, wherein the former may have up to 11.


D. Browse through the brown or green seed clusters

Ash seeds will have a paddle-like shape and appear like tiny, delicate leaves. They are elongated and beautifully hang in massive bundles from the ash tree. At times, an ash tree may not have seeds.


In their case, the clusters may develop in early winter and late fall. If you cannot decide between Boxelder and Ash tree, the former’s seeds do not look like paddles. Instead, they may have a wing-like appearance.


Common Queries

Ques 1. Where do ash trees grow best?

Ans. Typically, the ash trees grow in USDA hardiness zones two through nine, covering almost all the zones. However, like most other plants, Ash trees also have multiple zone specific varieties.


Ques 2. Which is the fastest-growing ash tree?

Ans. Following studies by the Iowa State University, the Green Ash is the fastest-growing ash tree. It grows at over two feet in a year. That’s how fast do ash trees grow, at least some of them. They go on to attain 50-60 feet height and a vast spread. Given its large size and exponential growth rate, it finds use as a shade tree.


Ques 3. How long do ash trees live?

Ans. Some ash tree varieties have survived as long as 350 years. But, two centuries is more prevalent on most sites. From 225 years onwards, experts regard ash trees as ancient. But, many ash tree varieties depict archaic characteristics as soon as they reach 175 years. However, the notable age for most ash varieties is between 75 to 150 years, and between 100-200 or above is a veteran.


Ques 4. How much space does an ash tree need to spread?

Ans. Keeping in mind how fast does an ash tree grows per year, ideally for popular varieties, the recommended space between two ash trees is eight to sixteen feet.


Ques 5. How tall do ash trees grow?

Ans. It depends on their growth rate because not every ash tree variety will acquire maturity at the same pace. Several factors like light, soil, water, fertilizer, etc., also determine how fast do ash trees grow. However, an ash tree reaches about forty to sixty feet on average at maturity. But, some particularly tall varieties even become 80 feet high.


Ques 6. How close should an ash tree be to a house?

Ans. Typically, an ash tree may grow vast and tall. Hence, ideally, there should be a minimum distance of at least fifteen feet from the house walls. But, 30 feet is the ideal spacing recommendation to avoid any issues later.