Is this material worth collecting? Fraxinus americana

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SW Vermont
I have found some specimens of Fraxinus americana on our property with dramatic trunk movement. I understand it is not a favorite species for bonsai, but a web search has shown me some people with credible specimens of this ash. The first of these, F. am a I inadvertainly ran the brush hog over it before I discovered it a few weeks ago. Since I cleaned off the shredded top and noted a new bud starting. The specimens b-d are growing along a small brook. I have been cutting many young ash trees down to release wild apple trees and because of EAB, I see little future as saw logs for these abundant young ash trees. So my question is would one or more of these young ash be worth collecting in the spring. I suppose the plan would be to chop fairly low and collect in early spring. Tree c is quite a small caliber, small enough to be bent by wiring. The others are between 1 and 1.5 inches in diameter.


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Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
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Charlotte area, North Carolina
Ashes fit into that category of trees with large compound leaves that are tough to work with, and tough to make into convincing bonsai. They include walnuts, sumacs, locusts, and dare I say - even wisteria.

There are a few trees with smaller compound leaves that work well - Brazillian rain tree, Brazillian ironwood, Texas ebony are a few off the top of my head - but they tend to be tropical or semi-tropical.

So there isn't anything that says you can't use ash as a subject... but it is usually a path with a lot of heartache and little return for the effort. However some people appreciate the challenge!


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Albuquerque, NM
The movement on those trunks is pretty spectacular, but how big is the thickest of the lot? I will say this. I’ve got an Arizona ash clump In this thread here, and I really enjoy it’s appearance. What makes it work is the size of the main trunk and the fact that it’s grown as a mass, not a single tree. The compound leaves work well enough within a larger canopy. If one of those trunks you have pictured was thick enough it may be worth the effort of training it. The leaves can reduce a bit, but nothing tiny. Another may be the fact that the compound leaf itself only contains three leaflets, where as something like locust or sumac has 8 or 9 leaflets (don’t know exactly how many, but more than 3). You could also though, grow it primarily for its winter silhouette. Just a thought as bonsai can be a very personal journey and if the thought of training these trees has you excited than you should go for it.


Imperial Masterpiece
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Northeast Wisconsin
Now while I would probably never SEEK a north american ash (Fraxinus), and they ARE very difficult to “wrestle”(irregular, random internode lengths EVEN MORE frustrating than the foliage)...

I do have one.. a Green Ash that I accidentally(mistaken ID) collected during my “first collection season fervor”... I am currently experimenting and actually beginning to understand the foliage and how to anticipate their “different” growth habits... but the internodes.... are a roll of the dice..
One day... I’ll find the “higgs particle” equivalent of mapping Fraxinus internodal growth. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

But I would, most likely, NOT collect one again ON PURPOSE.
(I already have one! 🤪)

(But if I DIDN’T..... that IS a pretty sexy specimen ((First pictured)))

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