Virginia Tech Dendrology

European ash Oleaceae Fraxinus excelsior L. Listen to the Latin symbol: FREX80
Leaf: Opposite, pinnately compound, 8 to 12 inches long, 9 to 11 narrowly ovate, finely serrated leaflets, each up to 4 inches long, shiny green above, paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious (sometimes separate male and female trees); females occur in loose pannicles; males in tighter groups; light green to dark purple, both sexes lacking petals, appear before the leaves in early spring.
Fruit: Straight, single winged samara, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, 1/2 inch wide, in hanging clusters, conspicuous seed, mature in late summer and fall.
Twig: Stout, gray brown, leaf scar narrow u-shaped, buds pubescent, very dark (essentially black).
Bark: Initially smooth light gray brown, later become ridged and furrowed forming a tight diamond shaped pattern.
Form: In Europe, this is a large tree reaching up to 100 feet tall and several feet in diameter forming a rounded crown with a long clear trunk.
Looks like: black ash - green ash - white ash
leaf flower twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Fraxinus excelsior is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting European ash.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson