Chinese Ash

Common Names: Chinese ash, 白蜡 (bái là)
Native Origin: China, Japan, Korea, Russia, Vietnam

Chinese Ash or Fraxinus chinensis is very similar in appearance to the Border Privet. However, its trunk is more polished or whiter in comparison to the Border Privet. In addition its leaves has serrate, saw-toothed edges (as shown below); whereas Border Privets’ leaves are round.


  • very tolerant to full sun
  • grows very well in fertile soil mix. Note: it is important to ensure good drainage and provide adequate water to keep the plant from drying out. However, do not allow the substratum from being excessively soaked with water.
  • repot every 2-3 years
  • very hardy; cold resistant up to approximately -8’C. Fraxinus chinensis only requires frost protection when temperature drops below -10’C. Fraxinus chinensis that were placed outdoors will shed its leaves during winter. Rest assured that new growth will return quickly following spring
  • for decorative purpose, Fraxinus chinensis can be placed indoors for about 15 days and should be moved back outdoors accordingly.

Feed nutrients every two weeks during its growing season and reduce feeding frequency to once a month during winter.

Trim and remove leaves/shoots/branches accordingly during the growing season. This will promote compact foliage and growth of new branches. Should tree require hard pruning, perform extensive pruning during winter. Hard pruning is best done during Winter until early Spring. Naturally, the same logic can be applied for wiring.

I do not have any propagation experience. But it can porpagate via cuttings, grafting and seeds.

Generally trouble free.


About this Article

Published: June 5 2008

Posted in: Bonsai

Comments: 7 Comments


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August 5 2010 / 7am


does this tree have little fruits / berries ?


August 5 2010 / 4pm

Hello Alon!

Thanks very much for stopping by. No the Chinese Ash do not bear any fruits.


August 8 2010 / 2am

Hi Ishi,
10x very much for your prompt reply. it is known that most ash family has a very big leaf size. does the chinese ash have a smaller leaf ? or did you manage to reduce the size ? if so, could you kindly tell us how ?


August 13 2010 / 2am

I usually remove leaves during its growing season. This process help reduce its leaves size. However, remove only moderately so you don’t “shock” the tree so to speak.

Jerry Norbury

August 27 2010 / 12pm

These are very underrated trees. They can take a lot of pruning and will grow back rapidly. The pruned foliage doesn’t darken or die back at all.
You can get some beautiful bright white trunks too.
Here are photos of mine:


August 27 2010 / 4pm

Hello Jerry! You have quite a collection of Chinese Ash! I love this one very much:

Jerry Norbury

October 23 2010 / 2pm

Ishi - thanks. Same tree today:

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