Ash Tree Leaf Identification Guide

Ash Tree Leaf Identification
Who doesn’t love to relax underneath the shade of a tree on a warm summer day?
And, when it comes to trees offering ideal shade, the ash trees are a go-to option. It’s a kind of tree that will add beauty to your lawn or garden regardless of the season.
In this article, we have highlighted some of the main features for the identification of the ash tree species. Let’s make it fun and find out how many of these ash tree varieties are you able to guess from this ash tree leaf identification guide.
Scientifically known as Fraxinus Excelsior, the beautiful ash tree belongs to the olive family. As a part of Fraxinus species, the ash trees have about 45 varieties found in different parts of the world.
Most commonly these trees are native to the United States prominently the eastern areas. Most of them are deciduous, but some are evergreen ash tree species scattered in the subtropical regions.
However, sometimes with wrong identification ash tree leaves may wrongly be thought of as Hickory, Maple, Black Walnut, Dogwood or Boxelder trees. There are certain characteristics like leaves, seeds, and branches, based on which you can identify ash trees.

Jump To

  1. American ash tree identification
  2. Brown ash tree identification
  3. Green ash tree leaf identification
  4. Mountain ash tree identification
  5. White ash tree identification
  • How to identify an ash tree by its bark?

    Young Ash Tree Identification – Know That You Have An Ash Tree!

    Whether you’re planning to get an ash tree from plant nurseries or are doubtful on how to identify one in your backyard, don’t worry.
    We have got that covered with an informative guide to ash leaf identification. When identifying a young ash tree, you should try to observe the branching leaves and bark.
    Young ash trees have a smooth bark that is gray in color. While older ash trees have barks with diamond shaped and furrowed ridged patterns on their barks. Also, the ash tree barks become browner in color as they grow older.
    Another remarkable feature of young ash trees apart from the mandatory identification ash tree leaves guide is the opposite branching. This means that the buds and branches on ash trees protrude directly opposite side to side. Other than ash trees there are only a few more trees that feature opposite branching, like dogwood, horse chestnut and maple trees.
    The beautiful ash trees usually bear fruits that ripen in September and disperse in the month of October. This is the time when the fruits shift their color from green to brown.
    After dispersal the fruits hang like a cluster of keys and grow for about 3 cm in length. Continue reading to find the most beneficial ash tree leaf identification guide.

    Identification Guide Ash Tree Leaf

    When we talk about their identification ash tree leaves are compound. This means their leaves are divided at the end into leaflets. Typically, an ash tree can have about 5 to 9 leaflets attached to the peripheral stalk. These leaflets grow healthy when exposed to full sunlight.
    The leaves grow 8 to 10 inches long in the opposite direction and are mostly a bit darker (greener) on the upper side.
    When ash trees achieve lush green foliage they tend to shed them slowly. This is because the ash trees no longer need the nitrogen stored in the leaves. Their unique characteristic makes the ash leaf identification easier.
    The leaf plays a prominent role in improving the texture of soil where the ash tree grows. As they fall they turn into humus and provide extra nutrients to the soil.

    How to identify these ash tree varieties?

    Here we have discussed an ash tree leaf identification guide to help you figure out the different ash tree varieties.

    1. American ash tree identification

    American ash tree or white ash is a magnificent species found in the areas of the U.S. Also, being popular as Biltmore ash trees, these are natively found in Eastern North America. When young, white ash trees are pyramidal shaped, but develop a complete round-shaped crown as they grow older.
    They have a gray color bark that features a unique ridge and diamond-shaped pattern. Speaking of white ash leaf identification, you can find them in a group of 5-9 leaflets. Their beautiful leaves are whitish-green in color on the undersides and lush green on the top.
    During the fall months, these elegant leaves turn into a purplish yellow color. These ash species can grow about 60-80 feet tall and require complete sun.

    2. Brown ash tree identification

    The brown ash tree also known as black ash is great for residential landscaping when you live in wet and cold regions. Coming to their identification ash tree leaves are scattered into 13 leaflets connected to the central leaf.
    During the autumn months, its foliage turns completely yellow. As the tree ages its thick grayish bark turns flaky and fissured. Also, it serves as a good home to many animals and birds as they like to feed on its seeds.
    Sometimes you can also spot a moose or a deer chewing on its leaves and branches. However, these species most commonly attract emerald ash borer, which is why it’s a risky option for home landscaping.

    3. Green ash tree leaf identification

    Mostly known as Fraxinus pennsylvanica, the green ash is widely used in landscaping. It can grow healthy in full sun exposure and various soil conditions. Green ash or swamp ash is another variety of ash tree that is severely affected by emerald ash borer.
    According to the green ash tree leaf identification guide, the leaves are somewhat green and feature 5 to 9 leaflets. These beautiful leaflets turn yellow during the autumn. It has been planted in residential gardens for many years. It’s because this ash tree offers a great relaxing shade. These trees can flourish and reach a height of 50 to 70 ft.

    4. Mountain ash leaf identification

    Most commonly found in regions of Northern America, mountain ash trees are also called Pyrus Americana. These ash tree species have some really interesting features through which you can easily identify them in your backyard.
    Talking about their identification ash tree leaves on this tree are beautifully loaded with orange-red berries in autumn. At this time, you can find it extremely magnificent with foliage laden with white flowers all over.
    Its orange berries primarily attract the attention of many birds such as cardinals, chickadees and finches. These berry-like fruits ripen somewhere around October, but you can find them all through winter. These trees can grow up to 40 feet – 49 feet tall, when kept under perfect conditions.

    5. White ash tree leaf identification

    Commonly known as Biltmore ash, this is an elegant tree that belongs to the North American regions. Most people often cultivate it to enjoy its cool shade. It is dominated by a woodland canopy and an elevated crown.
    If you want to know about the white ash leaf identification, the tree grows dark green compound leaves which are 8 to 15” long, with five to nine leaflets. The leaves soak up most of the sunlight by directing the leaflets so that the ash tree can grow rich green foliage.
    Sometimes the whole crown of the tree will push to the right or left for this reason. These ash trees can climb up to 50 to 80’ tall as they age.
    Related: Ash Tree Care Guide | Ash Tree Lifespan| How long do ash trees live?| Types of oak leaves

    How To Identify An Ash Tree By Its Bark?

    With the help of this useful ash tree leaf identification guide you can now identify most varieties of ash trees. That said, you can easily figure out an ash tree in your backyard by its bark too. It is because most trees share many common features but only ash trees have unique diamond-shaped bark with opposite branching buds and compound leaves.
    Their bark is usually creased and patterned in diamond. If you have an older white ash tree, you can observe a distinct texture on its bark. Whereas, you can observe that creases in green ash are less prominent and flaky looking in black ash trees.

    To Sum Up…


    So, when we look for identification ash tree leaves and barks play a major role. Moreover, if you are struggling to identify a young ash tree leaf, just look out for its smooth bark. But when it comes to a mature ash tree the bark is creased, rough, and diamond-shaped.
    Just remember there are a few trees like Norway, elm, maple, and oak that are generally presumed as ash trees based on the texture of their barks.
    So watch out for the leaves + bark combination to be a hundred percent sure that it is an ash tree.