Velvet Ash (Dixie White Ash)


Fraxinus velutina

Leaves: Deciduous.  Pinnately compound leaves 3-6” long. 3-9 leaflets (typically 5) each 1-2” long, ovate with pointed tips. Soft velvety undersides as its name suggests. Bright medium to dark green summer color with bright yellow fall color.

Bark/Twigs: Ash gray to gray-brown colored furrowed bark. Distictive cross-hatch pattern similar to the green ash.

Flowers/Fruit: Inconspicuous flowers followed by the production of showy, persistent fruits. Dioecious- species have both male and female trees. Female trees produce 1” long, ¼” wide seeds which look like a canoe paddle.

Mature size and shape: Medium. 30-50’h x 45’w. Slightly pyramidal when young, developing into an upright-spreading habit. Crown is extremely irregular in shape and roundish.

General information/special features: Plant in full sun. Grows in almost all soil types. Tolerates heat, drought, and alkaline soil.

Landscape use and Maintenance: Drought tolerant shade tree for warmer dry climates. Fast growing rate. Average maintenance. Transplants readily. Buy male varieties to avoid messy seeds. Sometimes called a ‘Modesto’ ash since that is the most common cultivar. Also called the “Dixie White Ash” named for southern Utah.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-9

Family/Origin: Oleaceae – Olive. Native to the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico including the canyons of extreme southwestern Utah.

Campus use: Rare. Only specimen. Can be found west of George Thomas (Bld 5).