White Ash (Fraxinus americana)

White Ash

Family: Ash (Oleaceae)

Common Names: American White Ash, Biltmore Ash, Biltmore White Ash, Canadian Ash, Cane Ash, Green Ash, Ground Ash, Mountain Ash, Quebec Ash, Red Ash, Smallseed White Ash, White Ash, White River Ash, White Southern Ash

White ash is the largest and most commercially important of the 18 Ash species that are native to the United States. Trees often attain heights of 70 to 80 feet, with trunk diameters of 24 to 36 inches. Boles are straight and clear of branches to 30 to 50 feet.

White Ash is straight grained, heavy, hard, strong, stiff and wears smooth with high shock resistance. The sapwood of ash is light brown, while the heartwood is brown to grayish brown. White ash typically has lighter heartwood than the other commercial ash species such as Green Ash. The width of the sapwood is 3 to 6 inches. It is ring porous, like oak (to which it is closely related), with the latewood being composed of parenchyma which surrounds and unites the latewood pores in tangential bands. The sapwood of ash is nearly white. The heartwood is pale brown, grayish brown, light brown, or pale yellow streaked with brown. The color may also be cream to very light brown, occasionally with a reddish tinge.

White Ash Ash wood because of its strength, hardness, high shock resistance, and excellent bending qualities, is used in specialty items such as tool handles and baseball bats. White ash is the most desirable of the ash woods. However, in the commercial lumber trade it is typically mixed with other ash woods all of which are sold as "white ash" wood. The wood machines Click to Enlarge Image

White ash end table
Shaker end table executed in white ash by Dartmoor Furniture.
well and is better than average in nail and screw holding capacity. It glues moderately well. In cabinets, furniture and flooring, it often displays spectacular grain figure.

Used to make furniture, flooring, doors, architectural millwork and moulding, bath and kitchen cabinets, paneling, tool handles, baseball bats, hockey sticks, billiard cues, skis, oars and turnings. Dimensioned stock readily available from specialty suppliers. Veneer and ash-veneered plywood readily available.