Q: I was looking for a shade tree for our back yard; one that would grow rather quickly but not have evasive roots or a weak structure. I was looking through a tree book of mine and came across the green ash. From what the book said it sounds like a perfect fit. It says it grows rather fast and can tolerate dry compacted soil and has a strong structure. It also suggested planting a seedless variety. My only concern is that it would be weak and have an evasive root structure like the silver maple. The tree would be about 20-30 feet from the back of the house on the south west side. I can’t go much further away from the house because I think my septic drain field is just beyond that.
A: It SHOULD be hardy down here, but I rarely see them. Dr. Dirr notes that trees taken from the Southern part of the ash’s normal range (Zones 3 – 6) might do better here. A phenomenon known as ash decline can be a problem.
Plant it if you can find it, and let me know how it turns out.