WHITE ASH
File Size: 64 KB
 
Fraxinus americana  
Riley County, Kansas
Height: To 65 feet
Family: Oleaceae - Olive Family
Flowering Period:   April
Trunks: Straight, long, diameter to 40 inches; crown conical or rounded; branches long, slender; bark dark gray, deeply furrowed, ridges narrow, flat-topped.
Twigs: Gray to yellowish-brown, coarse, rigid, brittle, glabrous; leaf scars U-shaped, extend upward nearly to top of bud, bundle scars 8-10; terminal bud dark brown, rough, 1/6 to 1/5 inch long, wider than long; lateral buds smaller, 1/12 to 1/3 inch.
Leaves: Opposite, odd pinnately-compound, 8-10 inches long, deciduous; petiole 1.6 to 2 inches, base enlarged; leaflets 5-9 (mostly 7), ovate to oblong-lanceolate; base cuneate to obtuse; margins entire or serrate; tip acuminate; upper surface dark green, semi-glossy, glabrous; lower surface paler, usually whitened with a few hairs on the main veins; terminal leaflet stalk .8 to 1.2 inch, lateral leaflet stalks .2 to .5 inch.
Flowers: Before leaves; male and female flowers on separate trees. Staminate flowers in compact panicle-like clusters on shoots of the previous season, 200-300 flowers per cluster; immature flower clusters reddish-brown, becoming yellowish-orange at flowering; each flower with a short stalk and a minute calyx; petals absent; stamens 2, anthers reddish-brown or yellowish-orange. Pistillate flower clusters similar; pedicels 1/10 to 1/8 inch; calyx 4-lobed, green, glabrous; petals absent; ovary dark green, ovate, winged; stigma reddish.
Fruit: July to August; in drooping, crowded, panicle-like clusters 6-8 inches long, persisting until midwinter or later; samara straw-colored, narrowly lanceolate, 1.2 to 2 inches long, wing mostly terminal, broad, extending less than 1/3 of length of fruit body; fruit body narrowly elliptic, 1/4 to 2/5 inch long, plump, slightly ridged.
Habitat: Deciduous woods, stream banks, flood plains, upland in rocky woods
Distribution: East 2/5 of Kansas
Origin: Native
Uses: Native American used an infusion of bark to treat sores and induce vomiting and applied a poultice of roots to snakebites.
Comments: White ash is a good ornamental and lumber tree. The wood is nearly white, tough, strong, and heavy with a wide, light-colored sapwood. The wood has been used to make ball bats, hockey sticks, tennis rackets, tool handles, oars, and snowshoe frames. White ash and green ash are similar, but white ash is usually not as large. Green ash is more common in Kansas. The autumn foliage is orange-yellow or wine-red.

White ash staminate flowers
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Riley County, Kansas
White ash staminate flowers
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Riley County, Kansas
White ash leaf
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Riley County, Kansas
White ash leaflets
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Riley County, Kansas
White ash
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Riley County, Kansas
White ash buds opening
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Riley County, Kansas
White ash buds
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Riley County, Kansas
White ash buds
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Riley County, Kansas