Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Zones 3B, 4-24, 26, 28-35
Full Sun
Regular Water

Fraxinus velutina

Arizona Ash
Deciduous, Trees


Fairly fast-growing trees, most of which tolerate hot summers, cold winters, and many kinds of soil, including alkaline sorts. Chiefly used as street, shade, lawn, and patio shelter trees. In most cases, leaves are divided into leaflets. Male and female flowers (generally inconspicuous, in clusters) grow on separate trees in some species, on the same tree in ­others. In the latter case, flowers are often followed by clusters of single-seeded, winged fruit, often in such abundance that they can be a litter problem. When flowers are on separate trees, you’ll get fruit on female tree only if a male tree grows nearby.

Ash trees are prone to borers. In some parts of California, ash whitefly is a problem; these chalky white, 1/8-in.-long insects colonize in patches on leaf undersides. Outbreaks are usually controlled by natural enemies; avoid spraying with broad-spectrum insecticides, which are likely to wipe out these beneficial predators.

Fraxinus velutina

Native to southwestern U.S. and Mexico. Withstands hot, dry conditions; cold hardy to about -10°F/-23°C. Grows about 30 ft. (possibly to 50 ft.) tall. Pyramidal when young; spreading to 30 to 40 ft. wide when mature, with more open form. Leaves divided into three to five narrow to oval, 3-in.-long leaflets; turn bright yellow in fall. Male and female flowers on separate trees.


Very tough, cold-hardy selection from New Mexico, with a strongly upright form to 35 ft. tall and about as wide.


Good substitute for ‘Modesto’, especially in the Southwest. Broadly oval to 30–35 ft. tall and slightly wider. Bright yellow fall color lasts longer than that of‘Modesto’.


Originated in Modesto, California. Vigorous form growing to about 50 ft. tall, with 30-ft. spread. Leafletsare medium green, glossierthan those of species; brightyellow fall color. Resistant tooak root fungus but subject toso many other diseases thatmost communities haveremoved it from their lists ofrecommended trees. Goodreplacements include ‘Bonita’,‘Rio Grande’, F. angustifolia‘Raywood’, and F. uhdei.

'Rio Grande'

Thrives in hot, dryclimates and alkaline soils. Has larger, darker green, more succulent leaflets than ‘Modesto’; they turn golden yellow in late autumn. Foliage resistant to windburn.

You Might Also Like...

Ruta graveolens 'Jackman's Blue'

This variety of rue is dense and compact, with a fine gray-blue color.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora

This is a naturally occurring, sterile European hybrid between Calamagrostis arundinacea and ...

Calamagrostis brachytricha

Deciduous. This grass forms an upright, arching clump 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 ft. tall, 2 ft. wide. In late sum...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More