A Gardening Journal

Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Fall Foliage of Golden European Ash

While this tree's performance in Spring and Summer is solid; its performance in Winter—bare branches sheathed in butter-yellow bark are tipped with striking ebony buds—is sensational. Fall extends that butter yellow to the foliage, too.


Fraxinus excelsior Aureafolia yellow stems foliage 101516 640


The tips of the stems are capped by unusual ebony-colored sheaths that protect the buds of next Spring's vegative growth.


Fraxinus excelsior Aureafolia ebony stem tip amid foliage 101516 640


To my eye, they are as showy as black sesame seeds scattered over a brown-butter ice cream.


Fraxinus excelsior Aureafolia ebony stem tip close up 101516 640


From a distance, this early Fall show of Fraxinus excelsior 'Aureafolia' is all around the bright yellow foliage; only with a second glance might you become aware that the young branches themselves are the very same color. The ebony tips are your reward for a moment of close-at-hand appreciation.


Fraxinus excelsior Aureafolia overall 101516 640


Season by season, golden European ash brings show after show to the garden. It's one of my highest-performing specimens, which is why it's located close to the courtyard gravel and within site of the house's main door. All year long, the tree is right there.



Here's how colorful the bark and buds of leafless stems of golden European ash are from mid-Fall to Spring, plus a discussion of the striking rounded tips that many of the stems display.


Here's how exciting this tree's growth is in Spring and Summer.


Here's how to grow golden European ash, as well as shots of its colorful stems when they were several years younger, when none of them was swollen at the tip.

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