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Chinese Ash

Field grown, 6-12" CHAS_6-12 $22.20
Field grown, 12-18" CHAS_12-18 $24.20
Field grown, 18-24" CHAS_18-24 $26.20 Out of stock

Rhynchophylla -Immune to the Ash Borer

Starting in the early 90's we began an out-planting of ash species from various arboreta.  When the ash borer hit, we were pleasantly surprised one group showed no effect of the insect. 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 where the insect attempted entry without success. 

Now over 25 years old, the trees have been flowering and setting seed. However it was impossible for us to distribute the tree as the laws prohibited the sales of all things Fraxinus.  On January 15th of this year, the federal laws were not renewed and now it is possible for us to sell and distribute these completely immune to ash borer ash trees everywhere ash trees are allowed.  For the most part, small seedling trees cannot carry borers anyway, but this is not the reason for not renewing the ban. The reason was it was not effective. 

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 not be a replacement for other native ash trees but will have some of the same characteristics that people like ash trees including symmetrical branching, straight growth habit and perfect crown development. It might be a tad too seedy for some but that comes with a lot of ash trees where the fruits are winged samaras consumed by red squirrels at our farm. 

The plant leafs-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 we 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. 

Very limited supply. Order now. Not available after May 1st. 

Plant Specs
Genus & Species Fraxinus chinensis var. rhynchophylla
Seed Source Michigan
Height (ft) 40-80
Width (ft) 40-80
Pollination Requirements Self fertile as far as we know, but some individuals may not produce much seed or none at all.
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 pretty much like any ash tree. May not be 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.