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white ash Fraxinus americana play

White ash is a useful hardwood of eastern U.S. forests. The dense, durable wood is used for various products and the winged seeds provide food for wildlife.

Click to see more images.range map fall color wood grain

Light
Group selection, seed-tree, clearcut, and shelterwood methods are all conducive to white ash regeneration. White ash responds very well to increased light levels.

Water
White ash will establish on a wide variety of sites, but growth is very sensitive to site quality, and development is best on mesic sites.

Growth

Size
A large tree up to 80 feet tall that typically develops a straight, clear bole (particularly on good sites), usually with a narrow oblong crown.

Timber Value
The durable wood is used to make tool handles, oars, canoe paddles, baseball bats, furniture, antique vehicle parts, snowshoes, cabinets, railroad cars and ties, etc.

Wildlife Value
Seeds of white ash are eaten by several species of birds. The bark is occasionally food for rabbits, beaver, and porcupine. Cavity excavating and nesting birds often use white ash.
Attracts wood duck, bobwhite, purple finch, pine grosbeak, fox squirrel, rabbit, beaver, mice porcupine

Insects and Diseases

Fun Facts
White ash is also known a "poor man's oak". It is valued for its wood, which is strong, straight-grained, and fairly light-weight. Baseball bats are made from ash. Juice made from the leaves gives topical relief to mosquito bite swelling and itching. The insect emerald ash borer is becoming a serious concern throughout much of the white ash range.

Latin Meaning
Fraxinus: the Latin name / americana: of America

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Landowner Factsheets © 2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.