White Ash Fraxinus americana 'Autumn Purple'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
ash 'Autumn Purple'


The White Ash 'Autumn Purple' is a visually striking tree known for its vibrant seasonal colors. During spring and summer, its leaves are a lush, deep green, presenting a canopy of classic, oval-shaped leaflets that number from five to nine per grouping. As the name suggests, the most stunning display arrives in the fall when the foliage turns to a rich, royal purple, offering a striking contrast to the typical autumnal palette of oranges and yellows. The leaves are not uniformly purple; you might notice shades ranging from red-purple to deep purple, occasionally intermixed with brilliant reds. The bark of this tree contributes to its elegant appearance, featuring a grey to brown hue with a pattern that is deeply furrowed, forming ridges that are diamond-shaped, a characteristic detail that adds texture to the tree's overall look. In terms of reproductive parts, before the foliage fully develops, the tree produces small clusters of flowers that are relatively inconspicuous. After the flowering season, the tree bears fruit that appears as samaras, commonly referred to as 'keys' or 'helicopter seeds' due to their distinctive winged shape that whirls as it falls, aiding in wind dispersal. Structurally, the tree possesses a uniform, rounded to oval shape with a straight and tall appearance, offering a dignified and robust presence in the landscape. The branches are well-arranged and strong, starting off more upright then gradually spreading outwards, creating an inviting canopy. The leaves are arranged opposite one another on the branches, contributing to the symmetrical nature of the tree's silhouette. Overall, the 'Autumn Purple' is a majestic and colorful selection among deciduous trees, celebrated for its stunning fall foliage.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      White Ash, American Ash, Autumn Purple Ash

    • Common names

      Fraxinus americana.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The White Ash tree is not generally considered toxic to humans. However, like many trees, it may cause minor irritation or an allergic reaction in some individuals if they are sensitive to the tree's compounds. Ingesting parts of the tree is not commonly associated with poisoning or severe adverse health effects in humans.

    • To pets

      The White Ash tree is also not notably toxic to pets. It does not contain any well-known toxic substances that commonly cause poisoning in animals such as dogs or cats. While it is always best to prevent pets from eating non-food plants, ingestion of parts of this tree is unlikely to result in significant toxicity or poisoning symptoms in pets.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      50-80 feet (15-24 meters)

    • Spread

      40-50 feet (12-15 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Adds vibrant autumn color to landscapes with its striking purple foliage.
    • Shade Provider: Grows into a large canopy, offering shade in gardens and streets.
    • Wildlife Habitat: Supports local wildlife by providing shelter and food sources such as seeds for birds.
    • Erosion Control: Its root system can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion.
    • Drought Resistance: Once established, it has a moderate tolerance for drought, reducing the need for watering.
    • Cold Hardy: Able to withstand cold temperatures, making it suitable for a variety of climates.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Woodworking: The wood of White Ash is highly valued for its strength and elasticity, making it suitable for baseball bats, hockey sticks, and tool handles.
    • Food Smoking: White Ash wood chips can be used for smoking meats to infuse a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
    • Ornamental Use: The 'Autumn Purple' cultivar is specifically bred for its striking fall foliage and is used for aesthetic purposes in landscaping.
    • Furniture Making: Due to its attractive grain and good working properties, White Ash is utilized in the manufacture of fine furniture.
    • Wildlife Habitat: The tree provides a habitat for various species of birds and small mammals which nest in its branches.
    • Soil Stabilization: White Ash trees have extensive root systems making them useful for preventing soil erosion on hillsides.
    • Snowshoes: The flexibility and strength of White Ash make it an ideal material for crafting traditional wooden snowshoe frames.
    • Canoe Construction: Historically, the wood was used by Native Americans to make lightweight canoes.
    • Veneer Production: White Ash wood is sliced into thin veneers for use in paneling, cabinetry, and wood flooring.
    • Instrument Making: The wood's resonant qualities make it suitable for various musical instruments like electric guitars and drums.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The White Ash is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The White Ash is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Strength: The common name for Fraxinus americana 'Autumn Purple' is White Ash. As a durable hardwood, the white ash symbolizes strength and solidity.
    • Protection: Ash trees have been traditionally thought to ward off evil spirits, offering protection to those nearby.
    • Transformation: With leaves that change color in the fall, the 'Autumn Purple' variety of white ash underscores the theme of transformation and adaptation.
    • New Beginnings: In many cultures, ash trees are associated with rebirth and new beginnings due to their prolific seed production and regrowth capabilities.
    • Wisdom: The ash tree often symbolizes knowledge and wisdom, perhaps in part because of its long lifespan and the ancient beliefs associated with it.
    • Connection: In Norse mythology, the ash tree, known as Yggdrasil, connects all the Nine Worlds; hence, the white ash can represent connectivity and the universe.

Every 2-3 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Not applicable
Late Winter-Early Spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The White Ash tree should be watered thoroughly once a week, especially during its first growing season to establish an extensive root system. Mature trees are more drought-tolerant and may require less frequent watering. When watering, aim to provide deep watering that allows the soil to moisten to a depth of 6-8 inches. Typically, this equates to about 1-2 inches of water, which can be around 15-30 gallons for a young tree. Adjust the amount during periods of excessive heat or drought, ensuring that the tree receives additional water to compensate for greater evaporation.

  • sunLight

    White Ash trees prefer full sun conditions and should be planted in a spot where they receive a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. They thrive under bright, unfiltered light which promotes healthy growth and optimal fall coloration of its leaves.

  • thermometerTemperature

    White Ash trees are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, typically thriving in zones 4 through 9. They can survive minimum winter temperatures down to -30°F and are comfortable during the summer in temperatures up to 90°F. The ideal temperature range for this tree is between 60°F and 80°F for optimal growth and health.

  • scissorsPruning

    White Ash trees should be pruned to remove dead or damaged branches, which promotes healthy growth and reduces the risk of disease. Prune during the dormant season in late winter to early spring before new growth starts. Annual or biennial pruning is usually sufficient to maintain shape and health. It's also the time to correct any structural issues.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    White Ash 'Autumn Purple' thrives best in a well-drained loamy soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.0. A good soil mix could include garden soil, compost, and leaf mold to enhance fertility and drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    White Ash 'Autumn Purple' is a large tree and not typically potted; therefore, repotting is not applicable. Once planted outdoors, it does not need repotting but may require transplanting as it grows.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    White Ash 'Autumn Purple' is tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels outdoors and does not require specific humidity conditions to thrive.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      White Ash 'Autumn Purple' is not suitable for indoor growth.

    • Outdoor

      Plant White Ash 'Autumn Purple' in full sun and well-drained soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of Fraxinus americana 'Autumn Purple', commonly known as the White Ash 'Autumn Purple', begins with seed germination, occurring in spring when soil temperatures and moisture levels are suitable. This is followed by the seedling stage, where the plant establishes a root system and juvenile leaves. As the tree enters the sapling stage, it experiences rapid vertical growth and starts developing a more extensive branch structure. The tree reaches maturity over several years, characterized by a full crown of leaves that turn purple in the fall. During its reproductive phase, mature White Ash 'Autumn Purple' trees produce flowers followed by samaras, or winged seeds, which disperse to propagate new trees. Finally, after decades or even centuries, the tree enters senescence, its growth and reproductive output decline until it eventually dies.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late Winter-Early Spring

    • The most popular method for propagating the Autumn Purple Ash (Fraxinus americana 'Autumn Purple') is through seed collection and sowing. Seeds ripen in the late fall, and collecting them as soon as they mature ensures the best germination rate. Once collected, the seeds typically require a period of cold stratification to mimic the winter conditions necessary to break dormancy. This involves mixing the seeds with slightly moist sand and storing them in a refrigerator for one to two months. Afterward, the seeds are sown in the spring, either directly in the ground where they are to grow or in pots to be transplanted later. It's important to maintain consistently moist soil until the seedlings have established themselves. This method of seed propagation helps maintain some of the parent tree's characteristics but there might be some variation due to genetic diversity.