Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea’

29 Aug

 

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea’ (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea’ (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 15m

Eventual Spread: 10m

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Oleaceae

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea’ is a medium sized, deciduous tree with a domed crown. Its light green leaves are up to 35cm long, pinnate, compound, with up to 13 leaflets. Each leaflet is lanceolate with serrate margins, up to 12cm long and 3cm broad. Its leaves turn a deep yellow in autumn before the leaves fall. Its distinctive buds are black. Its bark is smooth on young trees becoming vertically fissured with age. Its light green hermaphrodite flowers do not have petals, appear in clusters and appear before the leaves. Its fruit is a sumara and up to 4.5cm long and are not viable. It is usually grafted onto the rootstock of Fraxinus excelsior.

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea’ Leaves & Buds (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea’ Leaves & Buds (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea’ is commonly known as the Golden Ash or the Yellow European Ash. Ash die-back may affect this tree.

The etymological root of the binomial name Fraxinus is from the ancient Latin name for this tree. Excelsior is from the Latin meaning ‘ever upward’. Aurea is from the Latin meaning ‘golden’.

Fraxinus excelsior 'Aurea' Autumn (20/10/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea’ Autumn (20/10/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find  Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea’ useful as an ornamental parkland tree. It is tolerant of urban pollution. It is mildly tolerant of drought.

Ecologically, Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea’ is of little wild life value.

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea’ prefers moist, deep, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It is usually found on calcareous substrates.

Fraxinus excelsior 'Aurea' Bark (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea’ Bark (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea’ requires little maintenance.

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