Lifespan Of Ash Trees: How Old Do They Get?

How long do ash trees live?

The deciduous ash trees (family Oleaceae) are a common sight in parts of Asia, Europe, and North America. Since they are easy to grow and care for, you’ll often find them in gardens, yards, streets, and larger properties.


Another reason why this shade tree is highly popular among gardeners is due to its moderate to fast growth ash growth rate, its magnificent fall foliage colors and how long do ash trees live. There are more than 60 ash tree species out there and each variety comes with a unique set of features.


Want to know more ash tree facts? Keep reading to find out.


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How Old Do Ash Trees Live On Average?

The life of ash trees largely depends on their species and growing conditions. Given the right care, this moderate-to-fast growing tree can live more than 200 years.


Depending upon the species, an ash tree can survive anywhere between 30 to 300 years. Moreover, it may take an ash tree anywhere between 16 to 60 years to reach full size.

Ash Trees and How Long Do They Survive

Let’s take a look at the lifespan of different ash trees depending upon their species.

A. Mountain ash tree life span

With its greyish trunk, dark green leaves, and red berries, the mountain ash looks quite gorgeous. Under the right conditions and proper care, the lifespan of mountain ash trees can be long as 80 years.


B. Raywood ash tree life span

Raywood ash tree is a popular choice for gardens, yards, street lining, and borderlines. The most striking feature of this gorgeous tree is its wine-red fall foliage. The lifespan of a Raywood ash tree can be anywhere between 50 to 150 years. Care for it well and it will keep you company for life!


To ensure a long lifespan of ash trees, you need to protect your Raywood ash tree from beetle borers.


C. Autumn purple ash tree life span

A cultivar of White Ash species, the Autumn purple ash tree is a fast-growing variety that is adaptable to most growing conditions. It’s known for its round dense broad canopy and stunning orange to purple fall color. Under ideal growing conditions, the ash trees belonging to this species can be tree can be 80 years or more.


D. Arizona ash tree life span

The Arizona ash tree features an upright trunk with a rounded canopy of deep green foliage. Compared to other ash varieties, this is a short lives species. The general life expectancy of this variety is between 20 to 30 years. With proper ash care, it may survive up to 50 years.


The tree is marked by multiple upright trunks that stem from the main trunk. These multiple trunks originating from the same location may end up making the tree weak and affecting its structural integrity. This, in turn, may reduce the lifespan of ash trees.


E. Green ash tree life span

This fast-growing ash variety is widely planted as a shade tree. It thrives in full sun and can adapt to a range of soil conditions A Green ash tree typically lives between 50 to 100 years. To ensure a long life, this tree needs to be protected from the emerald ash borer.


Fun Fact: Native to Eurasia or North America, the mountain ash tree is a part of the rose family (Rosaceae). It is not a ‘true ash’ tree.


How Can You Tell How Old An Ash Tree Is?

Now that you have an idea about how long do ash trees live, let’s find out how to determine the age of an ash tree. The simplest way to tell a tree’s age is by counting its interior rings.
Here is another easy way to get the general estimate of how old your tree is without having to cut it down.

  • Step 1: Measure the circumference of the tree. For this, take a measuring tape and wrap it around the trunk, keeping it about 4.5 feet above the ground.
  • Step 2: With the help of the circumference, find the diameter of the tree. For this, divide the circumference by 3.14 (pi).
  • Step 3: Now multiply the diameter of the tree by the growth factor to determine its age.


Ash Tree Fun Facts

Want to go beyond the lifespan of ash trees and learn more about these magnificent trees? Here are a few ash tree fun facts for you!

  • Different ash varieties have varied barks. Young ash trees usually have smooth barks. However, as the tree gets older the bark changes its color and texture.
  • Ash trees produce a substance that is quite similar to olive oil and exhibits medicinal properties.
  • Ash trees were used for manufacturing carriages in the past. They were also used to make airplanes and boats.
  • The wood of ash trees is also used in making musical instruments.
  • The strong but elastic wood of ash trees is also used for making sports equipment and canoe paddles.
  • Other than being used as firewood, ash tree wood is often used for the smoking of food.
  • Ash is an all-edible tree.
  • Unlike most trees, ash trees branch out in an opposite direction.

Related: Ash Tree Leaves


Q. What is the average growth rate of ash trees annually?

A. Ash trees are moderate to fast-growing trees and different ash varieties have varied annual growth rates. Depending upon the species, ash trees can grow from a few inches to a few feet in a year.


Q. How long do ash trees take to mature?

A. The time taken for an ash tree to reach maturity largely depends on its species. On average, an ash tree may take anywhere between 16 to 60 years to grow full size. For example, a green ash tree can grow 2 feet or more per year while species like European ash may have a slower growth rate.


 Q. How tall do ash trees grow?

A. Generally, ash trees are small to medium in height. However, a few timber-providing ash species may grow up to be quite tall. On average, an ash tree can be anywhere between 50 to 120 feet in height upon reaching maturity.


The tree’s height and how old do ash trees live also depend on their growing conditions, environmental conditions, and species. For instance, Velvet ash trees grow only about 30 feet in height while a white ash tree can grow up to more than 100 feet.

 Q. What are the first signs of ash dieback?

A. Ash dieback is a common ash tree fungal disease caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. It can lead to crown dieback, bark lesions, and leaf loss. Moreover, this disease ends up weakening the tree and making it more susceptible to other diseases and pests.


Now you are aware of how long do ash trees live when taken care of, so just watch out for a few early symptoms of this ash tree disease:

  • Dark brown orange lesions on the leaves.
  • The affected leaves will wilt. Also, they will turn from brown to black.
  • The appearance of blackened and dead leaves amongst green foliage.
  • The bark of twigs and shoots will turn darker (often with a hint of purple).
  • If left unchecked, the disease may cause more and more leaf loss and lead to the appearance of lesions on the bark.