Gardening
in Tucson, Phoenix,
and Southern California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, and Southern California

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Fraxinus greggii: Gregg's Ash / Littleleaf Ash

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Description
Form: A tall, multi-stemmed shrub that can be pruned into a tree.
Leaf retention: Semi-evergreen, with new leaves replacing old at same time, during bloom. Drought deciduous.
Growth rate: Slow to moderate, depending on water.
Mature Size: 20' high and 15' wide.
Flowers: Very tiny, clustered flowers with male parts appearing before female, avoiding self-pollination. Flowers have purple (male) anthers and yellow aging to brown (female) stigma and ovaries in green sepals. No petals.
Bloom: Mid winter.
Fruit: Small, winged seed.
Leaves: Green compound leaflets, 2-3 inches long, lance-shaped, margins slightly toothed. Provides light to medium shade.
Stems: No thorns. Bark is light gray and smooth.
Wildlife: Attracts bees. Browsed by mammals.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Arizona to Texas and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 7b-10.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to part shade.
Water once established: Deep water once or twice a month at drip line. Watering more often improves rate of growth. In first five years, may need weekly watering during hottest months of year for best appearance.
Soil: Well-drained, pH 6.6-8.5 (neutral to alkaline).
First Year Care: Deep water once week, at drip line, coordinating with rains, to establish a strong root system.
Prune: In winter, lower branches can be removed to train into a tree.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed (stratified).
Uses: Ornamental, shade.

Comments
The tree pictured is planted near an east-facing wall, partly shading it from the afternoon sun.



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Purple (male) anthers of Fraxinus greggii flowers appear first.


Yellow (female) stigma and ovaries in green sepals appear later alongside anthers.


Fraxinus greggii flower clusters in full bloom.


New leaves emerging.


Mature leaves.