Modesto Ash Tree – Detailed Guide

Modesto Ash tree is a selection of the native Arizona Ash. The only difference is that this variety is a bit more compact and narrow than its parent. Since this tree is usually grown from cuttings rather than by seed, it usually develops a symmetrical canopy without the messy seed pods that female specimens produce. In addition, it grows very fast and is considered to be one of the better shade trees by most tree services Modesto

Keep reading to find out more about the Fraxinus velutina ‘Modesto’ tree, its characteristics, and requirements!

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Modesto Ash Tree – Everything you Need to Know

General Information

Modesto Ash tree originates from the city with the same name (Modesto) in California. This deciduous tree has only male plants and a pretty narrow canopy. Additionally, it provides a wonderful shade and is commonly used as a street tree due to this reason. It’s not uncommon to find it in parks and landscapes also. 

It grows at a medium rate and has a relatively dense form. The leaves are glossy and very attractive – foliage ranges from medium green to bright yellow, depending on the season. The leaves are lanceolate to elliptic, pinnately compound, and usually about 5” long. Residents love combining this tree with other ornamental trees to get a perfect combination of colors for their backyard.

The bark is also attractive, usually with gray color and furrowed texture. In addition, the shoots are velvety-downy and the flowers are produced in small clusters in early spring. The tree produces very small fruit with an apical wing. 

Tree Characteristics

Fraxinus velutina ‘Modesto’ tree is considered an ornamental and shade tree by all tree service California companies. As already mentioned, the tree is deciduous and it is a grafted male selection of a native tree. Therefore, it is seedless and quite easy to grow. In addition, it grows at a medium rate, so you can expect to have at least some shade in just a couple of years. 

At maturity, this tree can grow up to 50 feet in height and about 40 feet wide. It requires full sun exposure and moderate irrigation. Make sure that the tree has enough, but not too much water to avoid causing problems with the root system. Overwatering can overwhelm the tree and cause cracks and sometimes even rot. 

Plant the tree in clay, loam, sand, acidic, or alkaline soil. Whatever type you choose to use make sure that the soil is well-drained. We recommend consulting with your local arborist when choosing the right type of soil and planting the tree in general. Also, it would be best if you could plant it during the winter to give it some time to establish the root system before the summer heat. 

Pests and Diseases

Similar to other Ash varieties, Fraxinus velutina ‘Modesto’ variety is also prone to ash tree borers and other diseases and pests common for this group of trees. This is the reason why it is so important to keep the ash trees as healthy as possible through regular watering, fertilizing, pruning, and monitoring. 

Tree experts recommend using seaweed biostimulants for this tree. It heightens stress tolerance, promotes root growth, and aids in tree establishment. 

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Using Modesto Ash in Landscapes

There are a few different rules you should follow when planting this tree in your landscape. For example, by planting it on the west or south side of your property you can save on energy bills during the whole year. Whether you choose to plant a single specimen or you opt for an impressive landscape feature with 5 or 7 trees, Modesto Ash won’t disappoint you. 

Additionally, these trees work very well to delineate your property line. You can also try mixing it with Fan Tex Ash for a very effective grouping, just make sure that Modesto is to the east of the Fan Tex. Plant them along your fence line, driveway, or street and you will have beautiful scenery. 

Space the trees about 15 feet apart on center if you want the canopies to grow together and touch. Just measure from the trunk of one to the trunk of the next tree and do the plantings. Of course, you’d want to allow at last 20 feet from any poured concrete or structures, just with any Ash variety. 



Q: Are ash trees good trees?

A: Ash trees are drought-tolerant, relatively pest-free, tolerant of most soils, and they have beautiful fall color in California. Overall, they are very beautiful and graceful trees appreciated for their foliage and adaptability. Ash trees are recommended for both commercial and residential use. 

Q: How long does it take for an ash tree to grow?

A: Growing to full size will take between 16 and 60 years in California. These trees can grow up to 50 feet in height in urban landscapes, but some taller specimens can be found in forests. The time it takes for it to grow to full size will depend on the environmental conditions the most. 

Q: What diseases do ash trees get?

A: Ash trees are susceptible to ash rust, ash flower gall mite, powdery mildew, ash anthracnose, cankers, butt rots, root rots, and banded ash clearwing in California. However, with regular maintenance and careful monitoring, you can prevent these diseases from ever occurring. 

Q: Do ash trees need lots of water?

A: Ash trees should be watered once every 7-10 days during the summer to a depth of 36 inches in California. Of course, if you notice extreme heats, you can try water 2 times every week. During the winter, Ash trees should be watered once every 2-3 weeks. 

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Local Tree Experts Overview

Modesto Ash tree is a very unique and specific tree. It is adaptable to different soils and can withstand temperature changes, of course with proper watering and fertilization. In addition, scheduled pruning can further enhance the health and looks of the tree, so we recommend hiring your local arborist to help you with that!

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