Trees on Juanipero Way are likely Raywood ash

There are many beautiful trees in our valley. I have a new favorite, and I want to know if you would identify it for me. What is the name of the tree that has bright red leaves in the fall and lacy green leaves in the spring and summer? Many of them line the right side of the street when traveling west on Juanipero Way in east Medford. They don't look like maple trees. The elongated leaves are in clusters of five. I was wondering if they were ash trees. Thank you!

— Judy

Sounds like you nailed it, Judy. According to Adam Airoldi, supervisor for the city of Medford's parks maintenance and tree program, it's probably a Raywood ash, which has clusters of compound leaves and willow shaped "leaflets" on the leaf. They also have a smooth, gray-colored bark.

"It's a pretty common landscape tree," Airoldi said.

There are some others along Poplar Drive.

As a sidenote, there is a concern involving these trees. There's an invasive insect called an emerald ash borer, Airoldi says, which has decimated ash tree populations in the eastern part of the U.S. Airoldi says it could make its way across the country next year. Hopefully not, though. We'll keep our fingers crossed that you get to see these new favorites of yours for a good long time.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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