Autumn Purple Ash

The Autumn Purple Ash is a White Ash cultivar that’s native to the northeast, and was introduced 1956. The fall season brings on a very decorative canopy when the leaves turn deep red, maroon and purple in color.

At its mature height it can get to be 60-70 feet tall and about 50 feet wide while growing about 4-5 feet per year.

Choosing a location:

Autumn_Purple_Ash_450Purple Ash trees are moderately drought tolerant and very adaptable to a wide variety of soil conditions, even soils that are heavy in clay, providing that the soils are well draining.

Ash trees are widely used as shade trees in residential settings located in growing zones 3-9 and do best in soils with a pH between 6 and 7.5. Be careful not to plant too close to sidewalks or driveways, because ash roots tend to stay close to the surface and can be damaging.

Male varieties of Autumn Purple Ash trees will not produce seeds.

Planting directions:

Select a planting location where your Purple Ash will receive full sun to partial shade with well draining soil. You can test drainage by digging a one-foot hole and filling it with water. The water should drain within an hour and if not, amend the soil by adding sand or organic matter to improve the drainage.

Autumn_Purple_Ash_450_21) Dig your hole and make it twice as wide as the diameter and just as deep as the depth of the root ball.

2) Place your tree in the center and gently backfill the soil until it halfway fills the hole.

3) Water the planting sight and allow the soil to settle a bit and then continue to backfill the hole with soil until it completely covers the roots. Water again and add more soil if needed as it settles.

*If planting more than one purple ash tree be sure to space them at least 30-40 feet apart


Your autumn purple ash tree will benefit from weekly watering until it becomes more established. The best way to water Autumn Purple Ash roots is by placing a garden hose with slow trickling water at the base of the tree. Let the hose run for about 30 minutes so moisture can penetrate and soak into the soil to a depth of 2 inches.

You may want to water more frequently during the hot, dry seasons or if the soil tends to dry out quickly. An ample amount of moisture in the fall season will put your purple ash in good shape against the winter wind and sun.


Autumn_Purple_Ash_Leaves_450_1Fertilize your Autumn Purple Ash with a balanced fertilizer like formula 10-10-10 once the tree has become established after one year of growth. Apply the fertilizer according to the instructions on the packaging during the summer months.


Your Autumn Purple Ash will benefit from some occasional pruning, which should be done in the early spring season before the new growth starts. Remove any branches that overlap, grow upright or across from one another on the main trunk. This will help prevent any damage from branches breaking in high winds or storms and assist with the tree’s structure.

Prune off infected, broken or dead branches when you see them because fungus can spread from decaying branches to other areas of the tree. *Remove the problematic limbs following these three easy steps:

1) Make your cut a quarter of the way through the branch on the under side of the damaged or diseased limb, about six inches from the branch collar.

2) Now you’ll want to remove the branch by entirely cutting from the topside one inch past the first cut.

3) The branch should fall away after the second cut and you can remove the limb’s stump as a final step.

Autumn_Purple_Ash_450_1One of the perks of having an Autumn Purple Ash tree is that they tend to change before all others in the fall season. Not only do they have a beautiful decorative canopy but they also are more deer resistant than other trees.

Ash trees are also highly valued for their lumber use, primarily for baseball bats, cabinets and furniture. The addition of this fast growing, low maintenance, and highly decorative tree will have all your neighbors talking about the beauty, especially during the approaching fall season.