The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Soil conditions for ash trees

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As the ash grows strongly, and the roots, which extend to a great distance, ramify near the surface, it exhausts the soil underneath and around it to an astonishing degree. For this reason the grass is generally seen in a very meagre and starved condition in a lawn where the ash tree abounds. Here and there a single tree of the ash will have an excellent effect, seen from the windows of the house; but we would chiefly employ it for the grand masses, and to intermingle with other large groups of trees in an extensive plantation. When the ash is young it forms a well rounded head; but when older the lower branches bend towards the ground, and then slightly turn up in a very graceful manner. We take pleasure in quoting what that great lover and accurate delineator of forest beauties, Mr. Gilpin, says of the ash. "The ash generally carries its principal stem higher than the oak, and rises in an easy flowing line. But its chief beauty consists in the lightness of its whole appearance. Its branches at first keep close to the trunk and form acute angles with it; but as they begin to lengthen they generally take an easy sweep, and the looseness of the leaves corresponding with the lightness of the spray, the whole forms an elegant depending foliage. Nothing can have a better effect than an old ash hanging from the corner of a wood, and bringing off the heaviness of the other foliage with its loose pendent branches."-(Forest Scenery, p. 82.)