Ash Tree Seeds | Types | How to Grow

Ash Tree Seeds | Types | How to Grow

Ash tree seeds are typically seen in winged clusters known as samaras in place of regular pods. People commonly refer to these samaras as “keys” or “helicopters” because of their unique shape, where a thin, flat wing surrounds a central seed. Despite not having pod protection like some other seed varieties, the aim of these samaras is to spread the seeds away from the parent tree.

Ash Tree Types:

American Ash Tree (White Ash)

The American Ash, Fraxinus Americana, is a handsome tree with dark green leaves and dark gray bark. It is a very tall plant and can reach the height of 90 feet. It grows fast in deep, well-drained soil facing full sun dialy.

To start seeds, soak in water, stratify for 30 days, and germinate 3/8 inch deep. You can store the 40 hand-sorted seeds in this packet for up to a year.

American Ash Tree Seed

European Ash Tree (Common Ash)

Fraxinus excelsior, or European Ash, is an amazing tree with dark green compound leaves and unusual winged seeds. It grows well in a range of soil types and may reach heights of 60 to 100 feet. It can tolerate both full and partial shade.

People value its timber for its strength and flexibility, which enhance ecosystems by offering food and shelter to animals. Before planting, wash and store seeds in a compost that drains well.

Fraxinus Pennsylvanica (Green Ash)

Native to Southern Canada’s Prairie Provinces. this species, which thrives in bottomlands and river valleys, is an excellent choice for agroforestry applications. The plant produces a samara fruit with an average of 275 seeds per packet.

It is easy to grow and transplant, and it can withstand long periods of spring flooding. It is suitable for farmstead and field shelterbelts, eco-buffers, and flood plains.

How To Grow Ash Tree from Seed Pods

Growing an ash tree from seed pods can be a rewarding but somewhat challenging process. Following are the few steps on how you can do it:

Collecting Seeds: Wait until the seed pods (samaras) are mature and brown. Then, pick them up from the ground or directly from the tree. Choose healthy-looking seeds to maximize the chance of germination.

Cleaning the Seeds: To get rid of any remaining debris, gently wipe the samaras after extracting the seeds. Some people scarify their seeds—making tiny scratches on the seed coat—to help them germinate, although this is entirely optional.

Pretreatment: Ash tree seeds have a double-dormancy, requiring alternating cold and warm periods before ripening. Stratification replicates their normal conditions, breaks their dormancy, and initiates germination.

This process can increase germination in the first spring. To do this, place seeds in a warm place at 18–24 °C for up to 12 weeks, then in a plastic bag filled with moist coir, composted bark, or a mix of these. Chill the seed in a refrigerator for four to 20 weeks, and sow if it germinates.

Planting: After a summer and a winter, the seeds are ready for sowing. Gently plant them 1/4 inch into the soil and water it regularly.

Germination: Seed germination can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. When well fed, young seedlings grow quickly, and they need a top dressing of garden lime.

Transplanting: Once the seedlings are large enough to handle, you can move them into larger pots or permanent outside sites. If they have been growing indoors, be cautious and gradually adjust to outside circumstances.

Maintenance: As the seedlings develop, make sure they receive regular sunshine and hydration. When necessary, shield them from illnesses and pests. Pruning should also be done regularly for healthy plant growth.

In conclusion, these are the few stops on how to grow a healthy ash tree from seeds and enjoy the nature splendor.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB):

It is a very dangerous insect that has killed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of ash trees across the US. The female lays eggs on the bark of the tree, and the larvae feed underneath the bark, resulting in plant death. To protect your precious tree from harm, keep an eye out for EAB.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

Volunteer Involvement

Volunteers are needed to help clean the seeds and inspect the samaras’ health. The researchers are hosting seed cleaning events at the Long Science Center at the Holden Arboretum, and those interested can arrange to pick up and take seeds home to clean, sort, and bring back. The goal of these researches is to grow EAB resistant tree and preserve ash trees.

Where to look for Ash Tree Seed for sale

1)Online Vendors: is one of such platforms where you can find these seeds. also sells these seeds.

2) Local gardens and nurseries

3) Special events: These events are organized by the Long Science Center at Holden Arboretum.


What do ash tree seeds look like?

Typically, samaras, winged clusters of tree seeds, are oar-shaped.

Do Ash trees have seeds?

Yes, every member of the Fraxinus genus of ash trees produces seeds. Ash trees often produce samaras, or flying seed clusters, containing their seeds.

Do dogs consume the lethal ash tree seeds?

Indeed, dog consumption of large enough quantities of these seeds may result in toxicity. In fact, if taken in small quantities, seeds are not toxic. But in large quantities, they may cause gastric problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, and ulceration. It is never appropriate to let dogs eat large quantities of these seeds or tree parts.

If you suspect that your dog ate any potentially harmful plant waste, such as ash seeds, you should immediately seek advice from your veterinarian.

Do ash trees drop seeds, and when do they fall?

Yes, ash trees do drop seeds in the form of samaras or helicopters. Ash trees usually drop their seeds in late spring or early summer, depending on the species and local conditions.

Do ash trees produce helicopter seeds?

Yes. Ash tree is one of the plants that produce helicopter seeds.

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