Fraxinus oxycarpa ‘Raywood’ – Golden Desert Ash
Botanical Name: Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aureafolia’, Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aurea’
The Golden Desert Ash (Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aureafolia’) is a cultivar of the European or Common Ash tree. It is a beautiful vibrant tree that will bring color to landscapes through the seasons. The Golden Desert Ash is a medium-sized deciduous shade tree with a rounded or oval canopy that grows to a height of 20 feet with a spread of 18 feet.
Golden Desert leaves out in the spring with bright yellow foliage. Typical of ash trees, the leaves are pinnately compound. They contain 7-13 leaflets, which are elliptical in shape and coarsely serrated. The leaves are long, measuring 7 to 13 inches in length. As the leaves mature, they turn a beautiful bright lime-green color, which they hold until the fall when they turn bright golden yellow for a wonderful display.
It has beautiful gray bark, which is smooth on younger trees and becomes fissured with vertical ridges as the tree ages. The bark provides interest in the winter when the tree has lost its leaves.
The flowers are found in small clusters along the branches in the spring. Male and female flowers may occur on the same or different trees. The fruit is a samara, also known as ash keys, that hang in bunches on the tree in winter.
Golden Desert Ash is tolerant of pollution and therefore suited for use as a street tree. Along with its narrow spread, this makes it a great specimen tree for small urban gardens.