This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info: guerinw@gmail.com

Friday, October 22, 2010

Blue ash in the landscape

Fraxinus quadrangulata, or blue ash, is a native tree you would not be likely to stumble upon by accident, and I was suspicious when I was called to look at a back-yard tree that the homeowner had identified as this species -- and just a few blocks from Arborland no less. But there it was, all ash-like but with bark that was puffed up like Meg Ryan's lips. A lovely specimen. You can usually tell blue ash by the corky ridges on the twigs, but in this case that character was lacking. However the samaras (winged seeds) had obviously read the field manual. Blue ash seems to have some resistance to emerald ash borer, and it is often just disfigured rather than killed outright. The homeowner had been injecting his specimen annually with orthene/acephate, which seems to have done the trick. In the wild, blue ash can be found on rich moist soils in Bird Hills Park, Lower Huron Metro Park and the Sharon Hollow Reserve.

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