Fraxinus americana, the white ash or American ash

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Fraxinus
Section: Fraxinus sect. Melioides
F. americana


American ash (Fraxinus americana L.) is a deciduous tree from the olive family (Oleaceae). It grows to 40 m in height. The name white ash derives from the glaucous undersides of the leaves. It is similar in appearance to the green ash, making identification difficult. The lower sides of the leaves of white ash are lighter in color than their upper sides, and the outer surface of the twigs of white ash may be flaky or peeling. Green ash leaves are similar in color on upper and lower sides, and twigs are smoother. Despite some overlap, the two species tend to grow in different locations as well; white ash is a forest tree that commonly occurs alongside sugar maple while green ash is a pioneer species that inhabits riparian zones and disturbed areas. Its compound leaves more often than not have 7 leaflets per leaf whereas other ash trees are usually more diverse.

Autumn foliage


Fraxinus americana, is a species of ash tree native to eastern and central North America. It is found in mesophytic hardwood forests from Nova Scotia west to Minnesota, south to northern Florida, and southwest to eastern Texas. Isolated populations have also been found in western Texas, Wyoming, and Colorado, and the species is reportedly naturalized in Hawaii.

Suitable for well-drained, fertile and humid areas, withstands occasionally flooded areas. It is sensitive to drought. It is fast-growing, lives up to 200 years. Propagated by seed.

Natural range of Fraxinus americana


The Latin name for the genus Fraxinus is derived from the Greek word phraxis meaning fence, the name was given because ash tree has long been used to make fences.


The wood is white, dense, hard and durable, suitable for use, making tools, furniture, floors and smaller parts such as skis or tennis rackets. Due to its similarity to color and texture, it is sometimes used as a substitute for oak. It’s a good firewood.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *