Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

White Ash
Fraxinus americana

Leaves are compound, opposite and deciduous with 5-9 ovate leaflets. Twigs are stout, green-brown and flattened at the nodes with a dark brown, suede-like terminal bud. The leaf scar is U-shaped with the lateral bud sitting within the scar. Bark is gray to brown with corky interlacing ridges forming a diamond pattern. Fruit is a winged samara and the wing extends only to the top of the seed body. Form is up to 30 m (100 ft) in height and 1 m (3 ft) in diameter. White ash is found on fertile, moist soils in the east and central U.S. and is intolerant of shade. White ash is distinguished from green ash by lateral buds within the leaf scar rather than above the leaf scar, and wing extending to the top of the seed body. The hard wood is used for handles, baseball bats, furniture and crates. This tree is the preferred wood for the "Louisville Slugger".

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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