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Is this Ash or something else?

This tree has been growing out of a crack in the patio, right under a fence, for a few years. I originally thought it was a big weed but I was curious as to what it was up to and since it was behind the house with nowhere to spread I left it to it. It's now woody and more like a tree.

I've been wanting to get in to bonsai for ages and this year I've been looking at air layering some of my plants as a starter. Out of curiosity I plugged this in to a plant identification app and it reckons it's Ash or Walnut. Ash seems more likely but it's next to the bins so I'd be inclined to guess it's come from there i.e from an edible seed or nut.


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    Definitely an Ash tree sapling.  The seeds get everywhere and especially seem to love places where they are difficult to remove!
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Any idea if it's worth trying to remove the whole tree and keep it alive in a big pot?

    It's in a ginnell behind the house. It's found a patch of dirt right where the tarmacked area meets our fence. You can't see, but the fence behind it is on top of concrete and brick so my worry is that the roots are under there doing damage.

    It'll have to go when we get the fence and patio redone but it looks like a great bit of raw material for a bonsai so would prefer to get it out now.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,881
    edited April 2020
    Get rid of it!  ASAP!!! It’ll ruin your foundations and your drains. It’ll be monstrous huge very quickly and if it’s a female your garden will fill up with seeds and saplings. We can’t save every tree ... if you want some ash tree saplings anyone living within 100m of an ash tree  will give you as many as you want. 
    I love ash trees ... I grew up in a place named for them .. but an ordinary sized garden is no place for an ash tree

    and your tree is far too big to start training it as a bonsai!!!

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,336
    edited April 2020
    Personally, I would try get it out before it does any real damage. The mature ash trees around the borders of our garden are way taller than our 4 bedroomed house so the roots must spread an awfully long way. That baby wants to grow huge! Definitely not a pot tree.

    I suspect the only way you'll get it out is by digging and sawing the roots.

    I have no idea about bonsai. Is ash really suitable for bonsai-ing? Maybe if you're starting from a tiny seedling but, to me, that looks way too big for a bonsai specimen.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    Agree with both above.  I had a 70ft Ash tree fall and destroy 2 greenhouses, many years ago.  What you see above ground in terms of branches is mirrored below ground in the roots!
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks for the help. It doesn't have much in the way of branches so hopefully the roots aren't too extensive. I might post an update shortly if I'm successful.
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