University of Tennessee
Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
Our Center Home Page Arboretum Home Page Contact

Featured Plant Of The Month

There is always something in bloom at the Arboretum! Use our Plants Library to plan a photo shoot or to choose one of the trails to walk. Learn more about the plants at the Arboretum by visiting our Previously Featured Plants list and our Special Seasonal Featured Plants page.


White Ash (Fraxinus americana)

White Ash Tree White Ash Leaves White Ash Fruit

White Ash is found throughout Tennessee on a variety of dry to wet sites. It is a member of the Eastern Deciduous Forest, ranging from Nova Scotia to northern Florida, and west to eastern Nebraska and eastern Texas. It is fast-growing and can attain heights of 60 to over 100 ft. The opposite leaves are pinnately compound with 5-9 leaflets (typically 7). It is generally dioecious with male and female flowers borne on separate trees. The inconspicuous flowers appear in April, and the fruits (winged samaras) develop in late May to June and mature in the fall. White Ash provides cover, nesting cavities, and food for a variety of wildlife and birds. Its wood is valuable for its strength, hardness, weight, and shock resistance. It is used for tool handles, oars, sports equipment (e.g., the Louisville Slugger and tennis rackets), and furniture.

The Emerald Ash Borer, an exotic beetle from Asia, has killed millions of ash trees in the Eastern U.S. and has recently expanded its range into Tennessee. Its larvae feed on the inner bark of the trees, destroying the functional xylem and phloem that transport water and nutrients throughout the plant. Many ash trees in Oak Ridge are already dead or damaged beyond the point where they can be saved. The Oak Ridge Electric Department is identifying ash trees on public rights-of-way that could affect overhead power lines. The Oak Ridge Tree Board is hosting a workshop on the impact of the emerald ash borer in the area. The event is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, August 29, 2017, at the UT Arboretum Auditorium.

Return to Arboretum Home Page

University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: UTforest@utk.edu