Picked by Rillito Nursery staffer: Kenneth L.

Arizona ash (Fraxinus velutina) is an upright, stately tree with a rounded canopy of deep green leaves. It is relatively short-lived but may survive 50 years with proper care. Arizona ash reaches heights of 25-30 feet and widths of about the same. Young Arizona ash trees display smooth, light gray bark that turns rougher, darker, and more textural as the tree matures. This deciduous tree provides great shade in summer, with bright golden-yellow leaves in fall or early winter depending on the location.

Water young trees frequently. Thereafter, Arizona ash is relatively drought-tolerant but performs best with regular water during hot, dry weather. Ordinary soil is fine. A layer of mulch will keep the soil moist, moderate soil temperature, and keep weeds in check. Don’t allow mulch to mound against the trunk, as it may encourage rodents to chew on the bark. Arizona ash needs full sunlight; however, it can be sensitive to extreme desert heat and needs a full canopy to provide shade. The trees rarely need to be pruned, but it’s a good idea to consult a professional if you think that pruning is necessary. If the canopy is too thin, Arizona ash is prone to sunscald.

Rillito Nursery & Garden Center has been serving Tucson since 1994. We are a family-owned and operated business striving to provide the ultimate nursery experience and customer service. We supply the healthiest plants and the highest quality garden necessities. Spread out over three acres, we supply a wide arrangement of annuals, shade plants, desert plants, roses, citrus, trees, and shrubs.