Fraxinus nigra Marshall

Black ash is a tree most commonly found in deep swamps. Occasionally, though, it's found mixed with other hardwoods in moist, cold forests. Its wood is heavy, rather soft, tough, coarse-grained, and is used for hoops, chair bottoms, and baskets.

Bark - ashy gray in color, somewhat furrowed, forming thin, smoothish scales which are easily rubbed off.

Twigs - very stout, similar to those of white ash but not shiny and usually a lighter gray in color; leaf scar typically oval.

Winter buds - buds resembling those of white ash though usually decidedly black; terminal bud as long or longer than broad, sharp-pointed; lateral buds much smaller, blunt-pointed; last pair of lateral buds at some distance from the terminal bud instead of nearly on a level, as in the white ash.

Leaves - opposite, compound, 10 to 14 inches long, with 7 to 11 leaflets similar to those of white ash but much longer in proportion to their width, without stems.

Fruit - a winged seed, with the wing broader and distinctly notched at the tip; in clusters, ripening in the early autumn.

Distinguishing features - found in moist locations; leaflets without stems; black buds; notched tip in seed.

2a. Red ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marshall) grows in wet spots but has the same uses as white ash. Red ash may be identified by slightly serrate leaflets, silky below, on a woolly leaf-stem, and by the woolly twigs marked by semicircular leaf scars.

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