Black Ash Tree – In spite of its modest aesthetic appeal, black ash is a native tree with significant wildlife importance. It is also exceptionally tolerant of damp or moist conditions, making it a good choice for urban and suburban landscapes.
It is, in fact, one of the slenderest trees found in North American forests.It has a short trunk that rarely grows more than two feet in diameter and a stem that rarely grows larger than two feet in diameter. Black ash is often skewed or twisted in the wind. As the tree becomes older, the grey, fissured bark becomes scaly and flaky.
It is a long-lived tree that may survive for 150 years or more, and in some instances, much longer. The black ash tree contains both male and female trees, and it produces little winged seeds in hanging clusters called samara, which mature in September and may linger on the tree until the end of the growing season in late autumn and winter.
It is these seeds that provide food for game birds and songbirds like wood ducks, wild turkeys, and cardinals. It is also these seeds that provide food for animals such as black bears, red foxes, and gray squirrels. Beavers like chewing on the bark and wood of trees.
It is used by bats as a maternity roost, where they give birth to their young. Tree frogs, wood frogs, and spring peepers all find refuge in the hollows of black ash trees in the spring. In addition, deer like munching on the young branches of the garden, which is not something that home gardeners love.
During the past century, when the majority of elm trees in North America were decimated, ash trees were extensively planted in their place. Ashe trees, on the other hand, have faced a devastating danger since 2002: the emerald ash borer, a bug that originated in Asia and has decimated hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America.
The Varieties of Black Ash
Fraxinus nigra ‘Fallgold’ is a thin, upright cultivar that grows to only approximately 30 feet in height and has a narrow, upright habit. Its modest size, tidy look (it is a male seedless tree), and stunning deep yellow autumn foliage make it a suitable option for home gardeners who want something compact and easy to maintain. In fact, this cultivar is considerably more hardy than the species, and it can be grown in zone 2b.
How to Grow a Black Ash Tree in Your Yard
It is important to be prepared for the worst-case scenario even if growing ash trees is permitted in your region. This scenario includes the possibility that the Emerald Ash Borer may arrive in your area over the next few years and that you will lose your ash tree.
Ash trees are moderately to rapidly growing, and the wood is not as solid and sturdy as its white ash counterpart. Because of this, it is more susceptible to being blown over or destroyed during a severe storm, which is something to keep in mind while choosing a place for your structure.
Light Black Ash needs direct sunlight. Despite the fact that a young tree may be able to survive in partial shade, the longer the tree grows, the less tolerance it has for shadow.
Due to the fact that the tree naturally develops in damp to wet environments, it works well in any deep soil that has loam, sandy loam, a clay loam mixture, or moisture-retaining peat, among other ingredients. It can withstand acidic soil conditions.
Drought is not something that black ash can endure. It requires a site with plenty of wetness but not a pool of standing water. If possible, choose a spot next to a stream or creek where the water is flowing and aerated. During the growth season, the tree may even be planted in an area that will be inundated for up to two months at a time during the growing season.
Temperature and Humidity Levels
Although black ash is a sturdy tree, the structure of its wood makes it particularly sensitive to ice damage, which may be devastating. Humidity does not seem to have any harmful effects on the body.
A significant quantity of organic matter should be added to the soil if it isn’t naturally rich in nutrients and rich in minerals.
Common Issues with the Black Ash Tree
Ash yellows, verticillium wilt, and ash anthracnose are some of the most common diseases that affect ash trees. The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), sometimes known as the EAB, is the most significant danger to ash trees in North America.
In 2002, a beetle from Asia was found in the state of Michigan. It is the larvae that inflict irreversible harm on the tree; since they feed on the inner bark, the tree’s ability to transmit water and nutrients is impaired, and the tree eventually dies.
Since its discovery in North America, the emerald ash borer has devastated hundreds of millions of ash trees. In addition to the United States, it may be found in the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, the New Brunswick province of Nova Scotia, and the province of Manitoba.
The Black Ash tree is particularly susceptible to EAB, so unless you are prepared to provide frequent preventive injections by a qualified arborist to keep this pest at bay, you should consider choosing an alternative tree for your landscaping.