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White Ash

Latin: Fraxinus americana

Family: Oleaceae

Description - grows to a height of 15-24 m. Crown is a narrow to open and pyramidal in shape. Since 1920, White and Red Ash has been affected by the disease ash yellows. The tree looses vigour until death from a virus-like organism. White Ash lives longer than other ash species.

 

Leaf - 5 - 9 leaflets form along opposite sides of the leaf stalk in a compound leaf. The undersurface is whitened with prominent veins and sometimes hair. Margins of leaves can be smooth or toothed.

 

Bark - grey, smooth at first, but becomes furrowed into diamond shaped, interlacing, flat-topped ridges during maturation.

 

Bud - blunt, covered with short, rusty, tan hairs and deep set in U shaped leaf scares. Varies from pointed to rounded and broadly oval in shape. Scales in 4 pairs with the outer 2 with a ridge down the centre and pointed.

 

Twig - stout, shiny, greenish brown, and raised at leaf stalk junctions creating a knobby appearance.

 

Flower - flowers appear before leaves fully grown in clusters without petals looking like tassels. Male and female flowers are on separate trees. Male flowers grow in clusters as large as 6 cm in black and purple. 

 

Fruit - winged keys (samara) crow in drooping clusters, wing pointed or notched at tip. As they ripen, they turn from bright green to dull brown.

 

Habitat - moist, well-drained soils, dry sandy soil, and moist clay.

 

Wood - most valuable of the ash species. The wood is used for tool handles, baseball bats, hockey sticks, oars, furniture, flooring, and veneers.

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48075 Jamestown Line R.R. #2, Aylmer ON N5H 2R2