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17. Autumn Purple Ash
(Fraxinus americana ‘Purple Ash’)
One of Minnesota's most popular native trees is the White Ash (Fraxinus americana). The particular cultivar of the White Ash family, "Autumn Purple," noted for its excellent purple fall color, is well-represented on the Winona State University campus.
Autumn Purple Ash trees adapt to most pH levels and are quite salt tolerant. This is an important consideration for any boulevard tree due to the large amounts of salt used during ice and snow removal on Minnesota streets during winter months.
The Autumn Purple Ash has an upright oval form with compound leaves that are deep green on top, but with a pale underside which may suggest its common name, White Ash. These trees can grow to be 70 to 80 feet tall but along city streets mature trees generally reach 50 to 60 feet in height.
The White Ash and its many cultivars are among the most valuable native trees. The wood is hard, tough and elastic, with a straight, narrow grain. The wood from Ash trees is used for furniture, millwork, railroad ties, and athletic equipment such as tennis racket handles and hockey sticks.
Intriguingly, in early American history the Ash tree was regarded as having special powers to ward off sickness and evil spirits. Legend stated that no snake would cross a barrier of Ash leaves.
Many Autumn Purple Ash trees can be found at Winona State University; along Main Street, west of Memorial Hall, near the northwest corner of Pasteur Hall, and the south end of Johnson Street near the railroad tracks. Perhaps the most impressive Autumn Purple Ash trees at Winona State are located along the south boulevard of the Morey-Shepard residence hall buildings.
(see #4B on the maps)
Last Modified: Thursday, May 08, 2008 13:59 by