White Ash – Tips to Identify

White Ash with Seeds

White Ash with Seeds

Until very recently, I couldn’t have been happier with the status of white ashes on my property. The woods boast some enormous mature specimens, and the whole area is covered in ash regeneration, from seedlings and saplings to middle-aged trees. But it’s all for naught.

The emerald ash borer has done in a number of my trees, including a three-foot diameter beauty along the creek, and it’s only a matter of time until I lose every tree over an inch in diameter. Everywhere it’s hit, this invasive insect has killed every white ash tree in its path. 

  • Common Name: ash, white ash
  •  Scientific Name: Fraxinus americana
  • Leaves: opposite, compound, about 10 inches long with 5 to 9 leaflets
  • Twigs: stout with prominent leaf scars
  • Fruit: samaras borne in drooping clusters
  • Bark: gray, older trees becoming deeply fissured with diamond-shaped ridges
  • Landscape: because of the emerald ash borer, it would not be wise to plant ash trees.
  • Commercial Value: once a valuable timber tree, the white ash is now being harvested in anticipation of 100% mortality as the emerald ash borer spreads throughout its range.

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