Ash Tree Canopy

Identify Your Ash Trees

Seeds, Leaves, Bark & Shape

Do you have Ash trees? Ash trees are a very common tree in our area. They make up over 30% of the Indianapolis area street tree population. We have Ash trees in our yards, in our forests, and often along our streets. This page is intended to help you identify the Ash trees on your property.

Ash species attacked by emerald ash borer include green (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), white (F. americana), black (F. nigra), and blue (F. quadrangulata), as well as horticultural cultivars of these species. Green and white ash are the most commonly found ash species in the Midwest with blue ash being rare.

While other woody plants, such as mountainash and pricklyash, have "ash" in their name, they are not true ash, or Fraxinus species. Only true ash are susceptible to attack by emerald ash borer

Leaves

Leaves are compound and composed of 5-11 leaflets. Leaflet margins may be smooth or toothed. The only other oppositely branched tree with compound leaves is boxelder (Acer negundo), which almost always has three to five leaflets. White ash (on left) and green ash (on right)

ash tree leaf leaf example identify ash leaf

Bark

On mature trees (left), the bark is tight with a distinct pattern of diamond-shaped ridges. On young trees (right), bark is relatively smooth.

ash bark bark of ash tree ash tree bark

Seeds

When present on trees, seeds are dry, oar-shaped samaras. They usually occur in clusters and typically hang on the tree until late fall, early winter.

ash bark bark of ash tree bark of ash tree