growing and care

Despite the current concerns of Ash Dieback disease i feel it is still worth planting as many Ash as you are able to. It is very important to use local grown stock though.

preferred soil conditions?

Can tolerate most soils with the only exception being very acidic boggy peat soil. Ash is incredibly useful in wet areas as it soaks up excess water without the wood becoming too watery itself. It seems that water speeds up the growth of Ash. For some reason, Ash seems to really like growing on soil above limestone. The tree bark is always quite alkaline.

preferred light, shade and water conditions?

Will virtually grow in any light and has a preference of being in wet and even waterlogged soil. Boggy land become far less boggy quickly when Ash is planted.

Ash does need protecting from frost and ice when young, but as it is usually the most dormant tree in winter this is often not a problem. It is worth keeping the plant bases well mulched, just in case


Buds are either brown or black, and in pairs, that form around October and swell slowly through the winter.These buds open into leaves as late as June as they are often the last broad leaved tree to break into leaves, even later than oak during most springs.


Small purple flowers appear through May before the bods open into leaves. Female flowers are longer than the male flowers, and both male and female flowers can be on the same tree.


Ash is wonderful for coppicing and creating very good crop yields this way. Ash can easily live for 400 years, if allowed to, but a coppiced Ash could keep producing quickly for 1000 years or more. Some folks take a crop from coppiced Ash within as little as 4 or 5 years. while others will coppice less often, sometimes wait for 20 years before coppicing a crop.

fruit and seeds

Ash can be propagated very well by cutting thin branches at the start or near the end of winter and push tme into compost. They will root within a month, sometimes just a few days.

Ash also gives plenty of seeds, with single wings on them, but an Ash rarely fruits and seeds until it is at least 30 years old. The seeds mature through August and September and then fall and sow themselves through the winter, but they may not sprout and appear above the ground for 18 months to 4 years. Several tree nursery managers sprout their own seeds in warmish compost, but even that method takes about 18 months to 2, even 3, years to get plants. Green seeds are best to plant rather than dried brown ones.

to read about the healing and nourishment qualities of Ash, please click here