Claret Ash

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Claret Ash, Northumberland, UK

The Claret Ash or Raywood Ash is a cultivar of ash tree, a seedling variant of the Caucasian Ash (Fraxinus angustifolia subsp. oxycarpa). The original seedling was discovered near a group of assorted ash trees in Sewell's nursery in the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia about 1910, and later grown at the nearby property Raywood (former home of the Downer family). The tree was introduced to Britain in 1928 and to North America in 1956, although it did not become widely available there until 1979.

The tree grows to around 15–20 m (49–66 ft) and has dark green leaves that turn to a dark claret red in the autumn. The bark of the tree is notably smoother than the Caucasian Ash, which is quite apparent on those trees grafted on Caucasian Ash stock. In Australia and the United States a decline or dieback in some older trees has been observed which has been attributed to a combination of environmental stress and the presence of the fungus Botryosphaeria.


  • Rowell, Raymond J. (1980). Ornamental Flowering Trees in Australia, AH & AW Reed Pty Ltd ISBN 0-589-50178-X

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