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Ash tree appearance wood uses and lumber

Ash trees are very common throughout Europe. They can be found from Spain to Russia. The ash tree is one of the tallest deciduous trees in Europe. The scientific name of ash is fraxinus excelsior and is part of the Oleaceae family. The trees prefer calcium rich soil and can handle air pollution well. The ash tree produces excellent wood and lumber. Ash wood is known for its strength and flexibility and therefore used in many products.


Ash tree, leaf and fruit description

The ash tree can grow to heights up to 130 feet or 40 meters. The tree is classed deciduous and won't have leaves from November till March. Ash leaves are arranged opposite pinnate, with a final leaflet at the tip. The leaves are ovate to oblong shaped and can reach lengths up to 10 inches or 30 cm and vary in color from green to yellow. The ash tree has winged shaped fruits that hang in dense clusters. Late autumn and during the winter the fruits fall from the ash tree to the ground.


Ash tree bark and trunk

Young ash trees have smooth grey brown bark. When the tree gets older the bark becomes more furrowed and ridged. The trunk of the ash tree is long and straight without many branches. The diameter of the trunk depends on the age of the tree. Old trees can have trunks with a diameter up to 35 inch or 0.9 meters.

Ash wood properties and durability

Ash heartwood when fresh has a light to medium brown color. Sapwood is usually a bit lighter but exposure to sunlight gives the wood a darker color. Ash wood is known for its fine texture, strength and flexibility. The average dried weight of the wood at a moisture content of 12% is 461 kg per cubic meter. The durability of ash wood is classed as V low durability.


Ash wood working tips and uses

Ash wood is very popular among carpenters and the wood work industry. Ash wood nails, screws, glues, and works well both by hand or machine. The wood becomes flexible when steam bended and when cooled it regains its toughness. Pre drilling is always advised when screws or nails are used. Ash wood is used in a wide range of products like hockey and golf clubs, tool handles, ladders, furniture, flooring and veneer.

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