Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Fraxinus greggii:
Littleleaf Ash

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Form: A tall, multi-stemmed shrub that can be pruned into a tree.
Leaf retention: Semi-evergreen, with new leaves replacing the old at the 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. Two plants are required to produce seeds.
Bloom: Mid winter.
Fruit: Small winged seed.
Leaves: Green compound leaflets, 2-3 inches long, lance-shaped, margins slightly toothed. This tree provides light to medium shade.
Stems: No thorns. The 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 the drip line. Watering more often improves its rate of growth. In the first five years, it may need weekly watering during the hottest months of the year for the best appearance.
Soil: Well-drained, pH 6.6-8.5 (neutral to alkaline).
First Year Care: Deep water once week, at the drip line, coordinating with rains, to establish a strong root system.
Prune: In winter, the lower branches can be removed to train it into a tree.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed, stratified.
Uses: Ornamental. In shrub form it can be used as a screen.

This plant is a member of the Olive family (Oleaceae). Another common name is Gregg's Ash. The tree pictured is planted near an east-facing wall, which partly shades it from the afternoon sun.

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Fraxinus greggii: Littleleaf Ash - flower
Purple (male) anthers of Fraxinus greggii flowers appear first.

Fraxinus greggii: Littleleaf Ash - flower
Yellow (female) stigma and ovaries in green sepals appear later alongside anthers.

Fraxinus greggii: Littleleaf Ash - flowers
Fraxinus greggii flower clusters in full bloom.

Fraxinus greggii: Littleleaf Ash - new leaves
New leaves emerging.

Fraxinus greggii: Littleleaf Ash - leaves
Mature leaves.

Fraxinus greggii: Littleleaf Ash - trunk

Fraxinus greggii: Littleleaf Ash

Latest update: February, 2019
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