Arizona Ash Attack

A bit of bad news if you live in Tempe, Arizona, particularly if you live in or near Warner Ranch,  and are allergic to Ash pollen.

Arizona Ash is a medium to large deciduous tree, growing to 30-50 ft and found natively in Arizona around the Mogollon Rim at an elevation of 2000-6000 ft.  In contrast to the more common varieties of desert trees, such as Mesquite and Palo Verde, that to some look more like large bushes trimmed to look like a tree, the Arizona Ash provokes memories of the kind of stately shade trees found in the Midwest or Northeast, where many migrants to Arizona grew up.

I have heard that homeowners originally buying into the equestrian homesites in Warner Ranch (between Elliot and Ray Road and east of Ahwatukee) in the 80s were strongly encouraged, if not required, to plant an Arizona Ash tree.  The result is an area filled with mature Ash Trees.  The Ash trees began to pollenate around the first of February, a bit early this year, likely because of the warm, sunny weather. When the wind blows there will beenough Ash pollen in the air to affect the surrounding areas of Tempe, Chandler, and Ahwatukee for several weeks to come.