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Fraxinus americana (white ash)

White ash is a rapidly growing timber tree native to eastern North America. Its shock-resistant timber is used for tool handles and baseball bats.
Photo of Fraxinus americana at Kew

Fraxinus americana (white ash) tree at Kew Gardens

Species information

Scientific name: 

Fraxinus americana L.

Common name: 

white ash, American ash, Canadian ash, American white ash (in the timber trade)

Conservation status: 

Least Concern (LC) according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Habitat: 

Upland deciduous hardwood forests.

Key Uses: 

Timber, timber products, fuelwood, ornamental, medicinal.

Known hazards: 

None known.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Asteranae
Order: 
Lamiales
Family: 
Oleaceae
Genus: Fraxinus

About this species

Fraxinus americana is a rapidly growing tree suited to parkland plantings, where cultivars selected for yellow, orange or bronze autumn colour are highly valued.

The timber has readily marketable qualities – it is hard, heavy, and shock-resistant and used extensively for tool handles, baseball bats, furniture and also as fuel wood. Native Americans used different parts of the plant for a variety of medicinal purposes including relief from insect bites, cure for fevers, an aphrodisiac, and appetite stimulant.

The tree supports a wide variety of wildlife in its native North America, and the tendency of the trunk to form cavities makes it ideal for woodpecker nesting holes. Larger cavities may be used by owls, wood duck, nuthatches or grey squirrels.

Genus: 
Fraxinus

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