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Chinese Ash Seeds

1000 Seeds,CHAS_S-1000 $320.00 Out of stock


Currently unavailable:  Immune to the Ash Borer=Vigorous Tree and Hard Wood  

Starting in the early 90's I began an out-planting of many types of ash species. At the time, the trees were very small and somewhat of a side project for me as there was no apparent reason to grow ash trees other than finding new species that might fit into an urban type setting. The nursery industry was primarily stuck on native ash trees all of which were highly susceptible to ash borer.  When the ash borer hit Michigan, I suddenly had renewed interest and purpose in my trees. By then they were large enough to accommodate that insect. I had left standing two mature green ash trees on my farm when I first bought my property in the early 80's. Within two years they were infested with the borers and died but the Chinese ash species was untouched.  Each tree showed complete immunity to the insect with what appeared to be attempts to drill into the tree. A line of native ash trees less than two hundred feet away all came down with the insect. My trees were untouched. Eureka!! 

The name rhychophylla refers to the leaves with are oblong and come to a point.  The origin of this seed source came from a wild collection given to us from a research scientist friend of the farm in its earliest days.  Since then, no ash borer has been able to penetrate the bark or infest the Chinese ash tree. All the nearby native ash trees are now gone.  How can rynchophylla do it? It is likely related to the high amounts of tannins found within the sap of the tree which is a natural insect repellent. Only once did we find one hole drilled partially in where the insect attempted entry without success. 

Now over 30 years old, the trees have been flowering and setting seed. Seeding is heavy in some years, but frost can play a role in success of this. Also red squirrels appear to consume the seeds in great numbers at my farm. The trees have naturally seeded nearby on the edge of my pear planting too. The seeds need to be tamped into the ground by humans or deer to be effective at self seeding. The seeds need to remain dormant for two years before sprouting and during that time mice and chipmunks will also consume the seeds. 

Chinese ash is an easy tree to establish. It grows a variety of soils reaching up to 40-60 ft. tall in average soils. The broad spreading trees will have some of the same characteristics that people like about ash trees including symmetrical branching, straight growth habit and perfect crown development. It might be to seedy for some but that comes with a lot of ash trees so selections could be done with male trees or trees that appear to not generate seeds in large numbers. 

The plant leaf's out late. The flowers are fragrant and distinctive enough to even be called a flowering tree. The wood is incredibly dense. Pruning even the smallest limbs I noticed how hard it was even with the best lopers maybe even harder than apricot. This would be a good species to establish to at least get the ash tree back into production again for use in urban areas. Selections could be made for low or no seed production and then easily grafted like other cultivars use to be produced. 

Seeds are harvested starting in September if there is a crop. There is no restrictions on shipping ash seeds. 

Plant Specs
Genus & Species Fraxinus chinensis var. rhynchophylla
Seed Source Michigan
Height (ft) 40-80
Width (ft) 40-80
Pollination Requirements Self fertile however some individuals may not produce much seed or none at all. Said to be dioecious.
Soil Grows best in loamy and rich soils but fine in drier sites.
Climate Zone 3-4 to zone 9
Ease of Cultivation Easy to grow. Like any ash tree. Is not as vigorous as the white ash but robust and able to establish in dry low organic soil. Leaf retention is fantastic even in drought prone summers. Flowering is an added ornamental aspect to this selection. Surprising this species is not being used to replace the urban ash trees that have since perished. One thing the nursery industry is not known for is speed.