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Mr. Smarty Plants - Will Fragrant Ash grow in Bowie County TX?

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Sunday - April 24, 2011

From: Elmendorf, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Will Fragrant Ash grow in Bowie County TX?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in south Bexar County in very fine deep sand. Will the Fraxinus cuspidata grow in my soil and temperature?

ANSWER:

Fraxinus cuspidata (Fragrant ash) is not shown in this USDA Plant Profile Map as growing natively to Central Texas, but rather to far West Texas. The Growing Conditions for this tree, as listed in our Native Plant Database, are:

"Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Limestone or black clay soils. Limestone-based, Caliche type, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay."

These conditions would seem to be similar to what you have in your area, which is USDA Hardiness Zone 8b. This article on Fragrant Flowering Ash indicates the tree is hardy in Zones 5 to 9; however, the same article says it is difficult to find in commerce. We would definitely not recommend planting it now, but waiting until mid-Winter, when temperatures are cooler and trees are in semi-dormancy. Perhaps someone at the Texas AgriLIFE Extension Office for Bexar County has some experience with the viability of this tree in your area. The picture below was taken in Big Bend National Park. Here are some other pictures from Google.

 

From the Image Gallery


Fragrant ash
Fraxinus cuspidata

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