The TreeA 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 TimberThere 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.
DryingDries 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.
StrengthSimilar to oak in general strength properties, but tougher and more resistant to splitting.
Working QualitiesGood - Although tough, ash works and machines quite well, and finishes to a reasonably smooth finish. It can be glued, stained, and polished.
Latin NameFraxinus excelsior
Also known asEuropean Ash
TextureMedium to coarse
OriginEurope, British Isles, North Africa, Western Asia