Fast-growing, strong-branched and tolerant of many conditions, even wet soils, the red ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) is becomes a perfect shade tree for all of Wisconsin's counties. Its tightly furrowed, corky bark make this ash species ornamental, as does the golden fall foliage. The tree can reach 50 to 60 feet. For the least amount of litter, choose male-flowering varieties that do not produce seeds.
Sometimes simply called 'Marshall', the male-flowering red ash variety 'Marshall's Seedless' is the first seedless red ash selection widely used in the horticultural trade. Vigorously growing to a height of 50 feet, it attains an irregularly shaped, rounded pyramid-like canopy. Its glossy green leaves change to crisp yellow in autumn. Very old trees sometimes revert branches to produce female flowers and, thus, seeds.
Also a male, seedless variety, 'Patimore' develops a much more uniform, rounded canopy that makes an exceptionally ornamental tree for street medians or parks. It produces glossy green leaves that turn yellow in fall. Growing 45 feet tall and 35 feet wide, this selection sometimes reaches 60 feet on healthy, old specimens. 'Patimore' ranks among the finest red ash varieties because of its shape and overall disease resistance, although canker and verticillium wilt increasingly occur in southern Wisconsin counties.
Developed and selected by Minnesotan horticulturists, 'Summit' doesn't produce seeds. It grows with a strong central leader trunk to form a pyramidal canopy that is upright yet slightly rounded. Its glossy green leaves turn a rich golden yellow slightly earlier in autumn than other red ash varieties. This tree reaches a mature heights of 45 feet with spread of 25 feet. Variety 'Lednaw', sold as Aerial, is an improvement upon 'Summit', but grows only 12 feet wide, being much more column-like in form.