white ash
Fraxinus americana L.
  • LEAVES: deciduous, opposite, once odd-pinnately compound with 5-9 leaflets, typically with 7; leaves to ca. 13” long, leaflets 3-5” long by 1.5-3” wide; leaflets dark green above, pale green to somewhat whitish below, pubescent along veins or short-pubescent across lower surface; leaflet tips acute to acuminate, margins entire to serrate
  • FLOWER: unisexual, plants dioecious; flowers small, greenish yellow; male flowers in dense fascicles, female flowers and later fruit in axillary panicles on shoots of the previous season; flowering in early spring prior to or as new leaves emerge
  • FRUIT: single samara, wing terminates at seed-bearing portion or is only slightly decurrent; seed bearing portion plump; in our Fraxinus, fruiting panicles are present throughout most of the growing season
  • TWIGS: young twigs glabrous or short-pubescent, dark green to gray-brown, nodes flattened; leaf scares horseshoe shaped, the arms extending to a little above the axillary bud on either side (our other Fraxinus species have shield- or half-moon shaped leaf scars)
  • BARK: brownish gray, thick and rough on older trees, ridges and furrows form a diamond pattern
  • FORM: large tree 80-100’ tall, 2-5’ dbh
  • HABITAT: generally mesic uplands, mesic hardwood flatwoods, hardwood slope forest, southern mesophytic hardwood forest, especially prevalent on calcareous soils
  • WETLAND DESIGNATION: Facultative Upland (FACU): Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Plain Region
  • RANGE: eastern US, extending into Canada [USGS Range Map]
  • USES: source of valuable lumber, wood is used for furniture, baseball bats, tool handles, flooring, millwork, boxes and crates; ornamental
  • WILDLIFE: Fraxinus in general is preferred whitetail deer browse; seeds are eaten by many birds, and squirrels; bark is eaten by rabbit and beaver; cavities are used for nesting
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. an ash of upland sites
    2. leaf scars horseshoe-shaped
    3. leaflets whitish beneath
    4. seed-bearing portion of samara plump, the wind not or only slightly decurrent along the upper part of seed-bearing portion