Above: young Velvet Ash trees springing up beside The Narrows, Hot Springs Canyon, May 1998
Arizona Ash/Velvet Ash (Fraxinus velutina)
Below: Ash branches with young seeds, above the Narrows June 2003:
Main sources: Petrides, George & Olivia Petrides, 1992, A Field Guide to Western Trees, pp., Houghton-Mifflin; Zimmerman, Robert, 1969, Plant Ecology of an Arid Basin Tres Alamos-Redington Area Southeastern Arizona, Geological Survey Professional Paper 485-D, Washington, D.C.
Ashes are trees having compound leaves with (3 to 9) leaflets on opposite sides of a common stalk. Zimmerman (1969) indicates that the ash trees growing in the valley floors of our San Pedro River tributaries are of the velutina ("velvet") species, with leaves 4 to 6 " long and each leaflet 1-3" long and pointed at both ends. Leaflet edges are "wavy-toothed" toward the tip. Below left: young leaves on old bark; below right: leaves' velvety underside.
As of 2003, we have considerable numbers of young ash trees in Hot Springs Canyon above the Yellow Cliffs. For more detailed images, click here.