GREEN ASH
File Size: 45 KB
 
Fraxinus pennsylvanica  Marsh.
Riley County, Kansas
Height: 50-80 feet
Family: Oleaceae - Olive Family
Flowering Period:   April, May
Trunks: Straight, large, diameter to 2 feet; crown broad, irregular; branches high up, stout, ascending; bark gray or brownish, furrows shallow, ridges narrow, flat-topped, connected by cross-ridges.
Twigs: Coarse, rigid, smooth, gray or greenish-brown, glabrous or sparsely to densely pubescent; buds small, opposite, flattened; terminal bud pointed, longer than wide; bud scales reddish-brown, pubescent; leaf scars semicircular; bundle scars many in flattened ring.
Leaves: Opposite, odd-pinnately compound, deciduous, 5 to 12 inches long, 3 to 7 inches wide; leaflets 5-9 (often 7), lanceolate to elliptic or ovate, 2.4 to 4 inches long, .8 to 2 inches wide, thin, firm; upper surface bright green, glossy; lower surface paler, sparsely to densely fine-pubescent, especially along mid-veins; margins slightly toothed or entire; tip abruptly pointed to long tapering-pointed; base wedge-shaped; terminal leaflet stalked; lateral leaflets with or without stalks; stalks 1.6 to 2 inches long, stout, flat to grooved; leaves turn bright yellow in autumn.
Flowers: Before leaves; male and female flowers on separate trees in dense panicle-like clusters; calyx cup-shaped, irregularly-toothed to nearly entire, persisting on fruit; corolla absent; stamens 2-3; anthers purplish; pistillate flowers with small, egg-shaped ovaries, slightly flattened; style compressed, stigma narrowly 2-lobed, reddish.
Fruit: August-September, persisting through winter, in open drooping panicles 5-6 inches long; samara, narrowly oblanceolate to spatulate, 1-2 inches long, straw-colored, 2-4 distinct ridges on each side, 1-seeded; tip pointed to rounded or notched; wing terminal, prominent, flat, extending 1/2 or more of length of seed body; seed linear to narrowly oblong, less than 1/12 inch wide.
Habitat: Stream banks, flood plain woods, lake borders, prairie ravines; rich alluvial soils.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas
Origin: Native
Uses: Often planted in windbreaks. The wood has been used for tool handles, ball bats, canoe paddles, tennis rackets, and skis.
Comments: Green ash is quite variable. The wood is heavy, hard, strong, coarse-grained, yellowish.

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