|White Ash – Fraxinus americana|
Family Oleaceae – Olive, Ash, Lilac, Privet
Nearly all wooden baseball bats are made from white ash, also called American ash.
|White ash inhabits eastern North America. It grows from Nova Scotia west to eastern Minnesota and south to Texas and northern Florida. It is cultivated in Hawaii. |
The wood of white ash is economically important due to its strength, hardness, weight, and shock resistance. It is second only to hickory (Carya) for use in the production of tool handles. Nearly all wooden baseball bats are made from white ash. The wood is also used in furniture, antique vehicle parts, railroad cars and ties, canoe paddles, snowshoes, boats, doors, and cabinets.
White ash is an important source of browse and cover for livestock and wildlife. The samaras are good forage for the wood duck, northern bobwhite, purple finch, pine grosbeak, fox squirrel, and mice, and many other birds and small mammals. White ash is browsed mostly in the summer by white-tailed deer and cattle. The bark of young trees is occasionally used as food by beaver, porcupine, and rabbits.
All ash species are currently under assault in the American Midwest by the emerald ash borer beetle. Millions of trees have been destroyed both by the beetle's larvae and municipal and other authorities proactively removing trees in an apparently futile effort to stem the spread.
The age of these white ash trees is unknown
White ash has been used in Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania in the reclamation of surface coal mines, with 45 percent survival after 30 years. White ash should be planted in mixtures with other hardwoods; interplanting with European alder (Alnus glutinosa) nearly doubled the height and d.b.h. of white ash on a site in eastern Kentucky. 
These recommendations are being rethought in light of the EAB invasion.
White Ash Range 
1. Griffith, Randy Scott. Fraxinus americana. In: Fire Effects Information System, USDA Forest Service
2. White ash at Morton Arboretum (labeled but not accessioned) photos by Bruce Marlin
3. USDA, NRCS, Plants Database Plants Profile, "Fraxinus americana L. white ash"
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Olive Family: Oleaceae Flowering plants, containing 25 genera and over 500 species. Most species are native to temperate and tropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The best known trees of this family are olive and ash, while the most familiar shrubs are privet, lilac, and golden bell (Forsythia), all popular ornamental plants. Tree Encyclopedia | Tree Index | Fruit Trees | Nut Trees