Ash Tree Spotlight

Ash Tree Spotlight

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How many Ash trees are there?

It’s estimated there are around 125 to 150 million Ash Trees in the UK. Across the globe the exact number of ash trees is difficult to estimate precisely due to various factors such as the vastness of forests, the inclusion of both wild and cultivated trees, and the possibility of new growth or removal of trees over time. 

How many Ash tree species are there?

There are approximately 45 to 65 recognized species of ash trees (genus Fraxinus) worldwide. 

Ash trees are primarily native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, and they belong to the Oleaceae family, which also includes olive and lilac trees.

Where did the Ash tree originate?

Ash trees (genus Fraxinus) are believed to have originated in Asia, specifically in the regions of China, Korea, and Japan. 

From there, they spread to other parts of the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, North America, and parts of northern Africa.

The European Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) is one of the most common species in Europe and is native to the continent. It has been an integral part of European forests for centuries. Ash trees have also been widely cultivated in Europe for their timber and ornamental value.

Ash trees have been widely planted and naturalised in various parts of the world beyond their native range due to their adaptability and desirable characteristics.

Ash trees for gardens in the UK

Ash trees are a popular choice for gardens in the UK due to their elegant appearance, attractive foliage, and tolerance to a wide range of growing conditions. 

Sadly, the ash tree population in the UK has been significantly affected by the fungal disease known as ash dieback.

Ash dieback has caused substantial damage and decline in ash tree populations across the country. Therefore, it is now advised to avoid planting new ash trees in the UK to prevent further spread of the disease. The focus has shifted toward identifying disease-resistant or tolerant varieties and diversifying tree species to enhance the resilience and biodiversity of gardens and landscapes.

If you are looking for alternative tree species to consider for your garden in the UK, some popular choices include:

  • Oak trees: There are several oak species native to the UK, such as English Oak (Quercus robur) and Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea). Oaks are long-lived and provide excellent habitat for wildlife.
  • Beech trees (Fagus sylvatica): Beech trees are known for their smooth silver-grey bark and vibrant green foliage. They can thrive in a variety of soil types and create a dense shade.
  • Rowan trees (Sorbus aucuparia): Rowan, or Mountain Ash, is a small to medium-sized tree that offers clusters of red berries and colorful autumn foliage. It can thrive in various soil types.
  • Small fruit trees: Consider planting fruit trees like apple, pear, or cherry for both ornamental value and the possibility of harvesting fruits.

Always research the specific growing requirements of any tree species you consider, including soil type, sunlight, and available space, to ensure it will thrive in your garden. Consulting with local nurseries or horticultural experts can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on your specific location and garden conditions.

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