Fraxinus velutina

Accession Count: 23
Common Name: Modesto ash
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Family Name: Oleaceae
Botanical Name: Fraxinus velutina
Sub Species:
Cultivar: 'Modesto'
Characteristics:  Fraxinus velutina  'Modesto' is a cultivar form the Arizona ash tree selection. This tree grows more compact and is more narrow compared to its parent. This narrow canopy form is maintained in every generation by asexual propagation by cuttings. This deciduous tree has an somewhat umbrella-shaped crown (1). The bright green  leaves are six inches long with five leaflets that are furry underneath. Leaves turn a stunning golden-yellow in the fall. The branches are velvety and the trunk has interlacing ridges. The cultivar 'Modesto' is male so there are no winged seeds, a desirable trait when decreased litter is desired or when the goal is to have a tidy appearance when the leaves fall (2).
Compound: Fra vel Mod
Geographic Origin: Mountain Southwest
Ecozone Origin: Nearctic
Biome Origin:
Natural History:
This tree is native to the Mountain Southwest and it can live from 50 to 150 years if well cared for (1). This beautiful tree has been widely distributed being found in northern Arizona from the Mogollon rim to the Grand Canyon of southern Utah and in Nevada to the eastern White Mountains of Arizona (2). It is also widely distributed in the mountains of New Mexico, Rio Grande of Texas, California, Colorado, Baja California and lastly, spreading through the Chihuahua Desert (2). 

Natural History of the UA Campus Arboretum Specimen: 
Examples of the 'Modesto' Ash cultivar can be seen in the lawn just east of the main entrance of the Arizona State Museum opposite the Velvet ash trees. This deciduous cultivar is commonly used as a street tree, a specimen tree valued for its fall color but is less tolerant of reflected heat and high temperatures than other cultivars.
Cultivation Notes: This cultivar is propagated from cuttings. When established after tentative waterings, make sure to plant in full and partial sunlight. This tree prefers moist to dry clay, loamy or sand texture soils. The soils should be highly acidic to high alkaline pH.This plant is resistant to armillaria and powdery mildew but susceptible to  beetle borers, psyllid, spider mites, white fly, anthracnose, Mistletoe, Root Rot, Rust, Sooty Mold and verticillium (1).
Ethnobotany: The modest ash is cultivated for its landscaping properties. It is fire resistant and produces less litter for only being male. However, the litter from the leaves falling during winter is in copious amounts because this tree is deciduous. They are prized for their fast growing thick shading and beautiful golden-yellow fall leaves (1). 

Height: 20 - 50 feet
Width: 20 - 50 feet
Growth Rate: Fast Growing
Grow Season: Summer
Flower Season: Spring
Color: Yellow
Function: Shade
Spread: Non-spreading
Allergen: Allergenic
Invasive: Benign
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Semi-hardy
Water Use: Moderate Water Use

  1. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  2. Retrieved March 8, 2019.

Fraxinus velutina