White ash (Fraxinus americana)

Green ash photograph: MN DNR, Welby Smith

Form

Large tree; tall and often graceful trunk; average height 50' to 80' with a diameter of up to 24"; rounded to pyramidal crown.

Bark

Dark and nearly smooth on young twigs and branches; greenish-brown on older trees; narrow ridges are separated with marked regularities by deep diamond-shaped fissures.

Leaf

Opposite on stem, length 8" to 12", pinnately compound with five to nine plainly stalked, sharp-pointed leaflets; dark green and smooth above, pale green or whitish beneath; turns yellow or purple in autumn.

Fruit (seed)

Winged samara, 1" to 2" long; resembles canoe paddle blade with seed toward handle end; seeds mature in autumn and are distributed effectively by the wind.

Range

Found only in southeastern part of the state; grows best in rich soil; intermediate in shade tolerance.

Wood

Light brown, close-grained, heavy, tough and elastic; preferred to all native woods for making tool handles and athletic and sports equipment; also used for agricultural implements, furniture, interior finishes, posts, ties, fuel, and for ornamental purposes.