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Content Detail

Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), European ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement.  European ash is a large shade tree found throughout Europe which is hardy to the Midwest.


  • Family (English) Olive
  • Family (botanic) Oleaceae
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large tree (more than 40 feet)
  • Mature height 60-80 feet
  • Mature width 60-90 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites
  • Season of interest early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous
  • Shape or form Round
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Wildlife Insect pollinators, Migrant birds
  • Has cultivars Yes

Native geographic location and habitat:

This tree is native to Europe and Asia.

Bark color and texture: 

The bark is light gray and relatively smooth on young trees, becoming tightly ridged and furrowed on older trees.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Compound leaves are in opposite pairs, with 7 to 11 leaflets on each leaf. Leaves are dark green in summer, changing to yellow green or a mild yellow in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Flowers are not ornamentally important.  Male and female flowers may be on the same tree or on different trees. Flowers appear in spring.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Fruits are winged seeds borne in clusters.

Plant care:

Grows well in full sun and moist, well-drained soils.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

This tree is susceptible to the emerald ash borer which makes it unsuitable for the landscape. This species is also very susceptible to attack from the native ash borer.


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