Content Detail

Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), pumpkin ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. Pumpkin ash is a large tree found,  primarily,  growing in wet habitats. This U.S. native can reach 80 feet tall with a narrow crown. This species is native to the Chicago Region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.  

  • Family (English) Olive
  • Family (botanic) Oleaceae
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
  • Size range Large tree (more than 40 feet)
  • Mature height 65-85 feet
  • Mature width 30-50 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Wet soil
  • Tolerances Clay soil, Occasional flooding, Wet sites
  • Season of interest early fall, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Inconspicuous
  • Shape or form Narrow, Oval
  • Growth rate Fast
  • Planting considerations Weak wood and branch structure
  • Wildlife Browsers, Insect pollinators, Migrant birds, Small mammals
  • Has cultivars No

Native geographic location and habitat:

C-Value: 10. Commonly found in wet, lowland sites.

Bark color and texture:

The bark is light gray and ridged and furrowed into a diamond pattern.

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

Compound leaves are in pairs (opposite), with 7 to 9 leaflets on each leaf. Leaves are dark green in summer, changing to bronze or burgundy in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

It is dioecious with male and female flowers on separate trees. Flowers appear in spring and are not ornamentally important.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Fruit are winged seeds borne in clusters.

Plant care:

This tree is tolerant of wet sites.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Susceptibility to the emerald ash borer makes this tree unsuitable for the landscape


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