How to identify an ash tree
How do you identify an ash tree?
Wondering if you are looking at an ash tree? Your clues are their leaves, buds, flowers and seeds. Here’s what they look like at-a-glance:
Ash tree facts
Hello! In today’s guide we are going to learn how to identify an ash tree. Are you ready? Let’s get started! Here are a few ash tree facts:
- Common name: Ash – Common or European
- Latin name: Fraxinus excelsior
- Family: Oleaceae
Ash trees can grow up to 35 meters tall, live for up to 400 years and prefer growing in fertile, well-drained soil.
Ash leaves are pinnate, growing in 3-6 opposite pairs with a single leaflet at the end.
The buds are dark grey or black and grow in rotating, opposite pairs
Ash flowers grow in clusters of tiny, purple-red, spiny-looking, grape-like florets
The seeds (called keys) are long and thin with a seed at one end and grow in clusters
Trees that look similar to ash
Elder leaves look similar to ash, but they are darker in colour, thicker and wider and there are fewer leaflets per stem.
Ash tree uses
- Medicinal – Ash is traditionally used as a bitter tonic and astringent
- Dyes – The bark produces a soft, creamy coloured brown dye
- Bushcraft – Ash twigs are strong and flexible, making them great for bows and arrows
- Wildlife – Many birds, animals, lichens and fungi rely on ash trees
- Industry – Ash wood is soft and strong, so used in furniture and sports equipment