This study examines radial and axial displacement of the arterial wall under the influence of harmonics and wave reflection for the role of axial wall displacement in pulsatile wave propagation. The arterial wall is modeled as an initially-tensioned thin-walled orthotropic tube. In conjunction with three pulsatile parameters in blood flow, a free wave propagation analysis is conducted on the governing equations of the arterial wall and no-slip conditions at the blood-wall interface to obtain the frequency equation and pulsatile parameter expressions under different harmonics. The influence of wave reflection is then added to pulsatile parameter expressions. With the harmonic values of measured pulsatile pressure and blood flow rate at the ascending aorta in the literature, the waveforms of radial wall displacement, axial wall displacement, and wall shear stress are calculated under different orthotropicity and axial initial tension. The developed theory and calculated results indicate that (1) difference in waveform between blood flow rate, wall shear stress, and axial wall displacement is caused by harmonics, rather than wave reflection; (2) Axial wall displacement does not affect blood flow rate, radial wall displacement, and wall shear stress; (3) Besides wall shear stress, radial wall displacement gradient also contributes to axial wall displacement and its contribution is adjusted by axial initial tension; (4) different wave reflections only noticeably affect the maximum and minimum values of wall shear stress; and (5) The amplitude and waveform of axial wall displacement are predominantly dictated by axial elasticity and axial initial tension, respectively.