The Narrow-leaved Ash is a deciduous tree, growing to about 30 meters, native to most of Mediterranean Europe and Asia and Northern Africa. The shoots are stout with brown buds. Its leaves are pinnate, up to 25 cm long and are composed of narrow, elliptic and very glossy individual leaflets that are deep green in summer and turns a yellow-orange colour in winter if it has had a long enough autumn and hot summer. It scraggly fissured bark adds strong character to the tree.
Styles & Sizes: Ash makes large bonsai due to the size of the leaves and the coarse branching. Position: Prefers a full-sun location, though it does not like being in a windy place on hot sunny days, especially if water is in short supply.
Feeding: Feed with a balanced organic feed, every two weeks if using a liquid feed, every other month if using a pelletised version or after the pellets have fully dissolved away. Fertilise from early spring until the end of summer.
Repotting: In younger specimens grow roots build up rapidly, so they need to be repotted every year. Older trees can be re-potted as necessary, generally, if the growth in the current year is not as healthy as it can be it will benefit from a repotting in the following spring. Use a well-mulched bark, sharp sand, in equal parts. Alternatively, use a mix of Akadama and Pumice in equal parts.
Pruning: Trim back shoots to leave 3 leaves on stem once the stem has fully extended. It is wise to make substantial pruning cuts late in the season, to avoid excessive sap ‘bleed.’
Wiring: The ‘clip and grow’ method is best for styling the beech. If wiring is required, wire in autumn, and remove before spring sets in entirely.