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European ash is very susceptible to the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) and is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region. It usually requires removal or regular insecticide treatments. European ash is native to Europe and Asia, but was introduced to the United States as an ornamental tree. It was used as a street tree and shade tree.

To find suitable replacements for this tree, go The Morton Arboretum’s tree and plant finder.  Before purchasing or planting, be sure to check for any local or state guidelines on any selected species, and ensure that this plant is suitable for its habitat by checking its attributes at or



  • 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

Highly susceptible to the following diseases and insects:

Emerald ash borer and the native ash/lilac borer


European ash is a large tree growing 60 to 80 feet tall and 60 to 80 feet wide.

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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