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Trees of Iowa: An Interactive Key

Prickly Ash
(Xanthoxylum americanum)




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The Prickly Ash also known as the Northern Prickly Ash or the Toothache tree, is a shrub that grows 4 to 10 feet (maximum 25 feet). It has paired prickles flanking the leaf scars and buds, and encountering a specimen without prickles is very rare.



Hardiness: zones 3 through 9

Growth Rate:
moderate to fast

Mature Shape:
slightly pyramidal, upright with a rounded crown

Height:
50 to 80 feet

Width:
50 to 70 feet

Site Requirements:
Native to Iowa, ash trees grow best in full sun and moist, well-drained soils. Ash trees are tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions.

Flowering Dates: Spring

Seed Dispersal Dates: Late summer

Seed Bearing Age:

Seed Bearing Frequency:

Seed Stratification: Prechill for 4 months at 34F to 40F

The leaves are 3 to 10 inches, compound, 5 to 11 toothed egg-shaped leaflets with prickly leafstalks.

Flowers are small, green, clustered and bloom in April and May. Fruit are small, dry, red-brown, 1 to 2 seed pods that produce from August to October.

Chewing the leaves, fruit, or bark was once thought to cure a toothache, and if you crush the foliage it will emit a distinctive lemon scent.




 

Click on a thumbnail image below to view a larger picture.
Prickly Ash Flowers Prickly Ash Leaves Prickly Ash Twigs Prickly Ash Leaves Prickly Ash Flowers Prickly Ash Fruit Prickly Ash Leaves Prickly Ash Twigs