Fraxinus americana Linnaeus

White ash is a valuable and rapid-growing tree in the woodlots of New York State. It is common throughout New York and is found up to an altitude of 2000 feet in the Adirondacks. It prefers to grow in rich moist woods, and is common on abandoned agricultural lands. The wood is heavy, hard, strong, close-grained, and tough. Large quantities of it are used for agricultural implements, tool handles, oars, furniture, and sporting goods. In some locations, especially open edges and roadsides, branch dieback and tree mortality are common.

Bark - dark grayish brown in color, deeply furrowed with narrow flat-topped firm ridges which on older trunks are somewhat scaly; ridges in some instances tend to run together, enclosing diamond-shaped fissures.

Twigs - very stout, smooth, shining, grayish brown in color, brittle, flattened at leaf bases (nodes); leaf scar is notched.

Winter buds - plump, blunt-pointed, dark brown or nearly black in color; terminal bud 1/5 inch long, larger than lateral buds; last pair of lateral buds almost on level with terminal bud.

Leaves - opposite, compound, 8 to 15 inches long, with 5 to 9 leaflets; leaflets sharp-pointed, 3 to 5 inches long, with slightly and sparsely serrate margins; borne on short stems, by this characteristic may be distinguished from black ash leaflets, which are stemless.

Fruit - a winged seed, 1 to 2 inches long, broadly paddle-shaped with the wing occupying the position of the blade; borne in long, open, drooping clusters, ripening in September, often not dropping off until early winter.

Distinguishing features - thick twigs; compound leaves with stemmed leaflets; brown buds; ashy-gray, older bark.

3a. Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marshall var. lanceolata (Burkhausen) Sargent) is frequently confused with white ash. The former has narrower leaflets with more noticeable serrations which extend farther toward the base; the leaflets are greener beneath; the terminal bud is more pointed; and the leaf scar is not notched. It has the same uses as white ash.

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