how do your ash leaves grow? part 3

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Last week, I noticed that my tree has compound leaves, which means that each leaf is made up of several leaflets. In fact, I said that each leaf was made up of seven leaflets because the leaves that came out first all seemed to all have 7 (as seen in this picture from May 1st).


So I thought my tree was a 7-tree, making leaves with 7 leaflets. I don't think that anymore. As I've been measuring specific leaves on my tree, I've noticed something. Let's take a look at a picture from May 3rd, when I started measuring leaves.


The leaf I'm measuring only has 5 leaflets!  The other leaves in this cluster also only have 5, except for the one at the bottom left, which has 7. Now I'm starting to notice more and more leaves with 5 leaflets.


I can't really discern a pattern. Sometimes the 5-leaflet leaves are the inner/smaller leaves on a shoot, sometimes they're the outer/larger leaves.


And they aren't always in pairs. Sometimes a cluster will have just one leaf with a different number of leaflets.


I suppose they still might all develop into leaves with 7 leaflets, but I'm beginning to doubt that all the leaves on a tree will have the exact same number of leaflets. Now I know why the tree id books and sites talk about "5 to 9" or "7 to 11" leaflets. Here's a description from a leaf tree key found on this site.


So, since my tree has leaves with 5 and 7 leaflets, does that mean that I have a white ash tree?

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Alison published on May 11, 2011 11:26 AM.

how do your ash leaves grow? part 2 was the previous entry in this blog.

ash tree opposites is the next entry in this blog.

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