Ash, European


Ash, European



Density in kg/m3

The Tree
A tall, graceful tree, reaching a height of 30m to 42m on good sites, with a clear bole averaging 9m in length, and occasionally more. The diameter varies from 0.5m to 1.5m.

The Timber
There is usually no distinction in colour between sapwood and heartwood, freshly cut wood being whitish to pale brown with a pink cast, turning to a slightly brownish-white after drying. In some logs, an irregular dark brown or black heartwood is found, but this is not necessarily a defect, as the timber is normally quite sound. Logs containing dark heart streaks are often enhanced in value because of the decorative nature of the wood which is known as olive ash.

Dries at a fairly rapid rate without excessive surface checking and splitting, but under the influence of severe temperatures, there is a tendency to distort and for end splitting to occur. Distorted stock responds well to reconditioning kiln treatment.

Similar to oak in general strength properties, but tougher and more resistant to splitting.

Working Qualities
Good - Although tough, ash works and machines quite well, and finishes to a reasonably smooth finish. It can be glued, stained, and polished.

Latin Name
Fraxinus excelsior

Also known as
European Ash

Wood Type

Moderately Easy


Medium to coarse

Europe, British Isles, North Africa, Western Asia