Pumpkin Ash - Fraxinus profunda

This rare southern ash species was only discovered in Ontario in the 1990’s, and can only be found in small pockets in wet, swampy areas. Similar to the Red Ash, the Pumpkin Ash can be distinguished from other ashes by the wooly stems and light hair on the underside of leaves.  Pumpkin Ash gets its common name from the bases of mature trees, which tend to swell in wet habitats, resembling pumpkins. This ash is also distinct from its relatives by the much larger leaves and fruits.  Pumpkin Ash leaflets grow up to 25 cm.   Many birds and mammals will happily eat the large (up to 8cm) samaras (winged seeds) in the winter. The seeds require several months of cool, wet conditions in order to germinate.

Pumpkin Ash Bark
This shows the small grooves of young bark. Older bark develops deep grooves.

Pumpkin Ash Tree

Pumpkin Ask Tree
The leaf showing the many leaflets

Ontario Tree Atlas map of non-planted Pumpkin Ashes. 1995-1999.
Ontario Tree Atlas map of non-planted Pumpkin Ashes. 1995-1999.

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Farrar, J.L.. 1995. Trees in Canada. Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd. Toronto. ON. 504 pp.  

Kershaw, L. 2001. Trees in Ontario: Including tall shrubs. Lone Pine Publishing. Edmonton. AB. 240 pp

Muma, W. 2011. Ontario Trees and Shrubs. [Online] Available: www.ontariotrees.com

OMNR, 2011. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources: Ontario Tree Atlas. [Online] Available: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/ClimateChange/2ColumnSubPage/267027.html

OMNR, 2008. Ontario’s Biodiversity: Species at Risk.