Die Esche - & Eschen-Holz

The ash & ash wood

The common ash tree

The ash tree (fraxinus exelsior) is a deciduous tree species native to Europe. Ash trees can reach a height of 40 meters and are therefore among the tallest deciduous trees in Europe. However, the proportion of ash in our forests is only around 1%.

This is precisely why it is one of the most remarkable trees in our forests. With its stately appearance and the diverse uses of its wood, it plays an important role both ecologically and economically.

The ash tree is known for its dense foliage. The bark is smooth when young but develops a rustic, cracked appearance as it ages.

Pinnate leaves of an ash tree

Ash leaves

Bark of an ash tree

Bark of an ash tree

Habitus & distribution of the ash tree

Under good conditions, ash trees grow to a height of 40 meters, but when left alone in gardens or meadows they usually only grow to around 20 meters. They usually live to be 250 years old - as long as they stay healthy.

The ash tree populations in Europe are currently threatened by a fungus (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) and are causing many ash tree populations to be dramatically decimated. Felling is often the only solution.

The leaves of the ash tree are pinnate and throughout the year the ash tree is known for its winged seeds.

The ash tree prefers, among other things, moist, nutrient-rich locations and can be found in deciduous or mixed forests as well as in isolated positions.

2 ash trees

Ash seeds

The ash tree has a high ecological benefit. It provides food and habitat for a variety of animals. Furthermore, it contributes massively to soil stability thanks to its sinking root system.

Known ash species:

  • Common ash (Fraxinus exelsior)
  • Flower ash (F raxinus ornus)
  • Chinese flower ash (F raxinus paxiana)
  • Narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia)
  • Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia)
  • American ash ( Fraxinus americana)

Note: The ash tree is not related to the rowan tree.

Ash wood is known for its hardness, elasticity and toughness. Therefore, from an economic point of view, it is one of the most versatile and important domestic wood species.

Use of ash wood:

  • Furniture
  • parquet
  • Sports equipment
  • Tool handles
  • firewood

Ash wood is relatively heavy, usually light and has a beautiful, characteristic grain, which also makes it attractive for decorative purposes. However, there is a special form of ash wood - ash wood can sometimes be dark if the core has a brown color. Then we speak of “kernel ash” or “olive ash”.

This discoloration has no influence on the quality or stability of the wood, but only affects the appearance.

Due to its resistance, the ash tree can sometimes even be used outdoors.

Use of ash wood

  • Furniture construction, floor coverings: Ash wood is not only decorative, but is also hard and durable.
  • Kitchen utensils: Due to its hardness, it is often used for all kinds of kitchen utensils, cutting boards, children's toys, etc.
  • Tool handles : Ash wood is tough and elastic - making it ideal for tool handles.
  • Firewood: Due to its hardness, ash wood has an excellent calorific value

Ash wood grain

Ash wood grain
Image by kues1 on Freepik

Cut ash

My conclusion about ash and its wood

Similar to the common beech, which is also valued for its hardness and versatility, the ash tree is characterized by many properties that make it particularly valuable for both ecological and economic purposes.

The wood has its own characteristics and can have many different appearances. It's not just decorative - it's also great for turning. Ash trees are impressive specimens in Europe. We can only hope that the problem with ash shoot dieback can be contained in the medium term to prevent further threats to this great deciduous tree.

I really enjoy processing ash wood and use it to make, among other things, wooden products such as:

Curious about ash wood? Then take a look at them all in my online shop Products made from ash wood at.

Tree of life decoration made of ash

Wooden necklace “Tree of Life Ash”

Wooden wine stopper made of ash

Wooden wine stopper made of ash wood

Wooden bottle opener made of ash Wooden bottle opener made of ash wood

Ash wooden bowl Wooden bowl made of ash wood

Wooden razor made of ash wood

Wooden razor with ash wood handle

Wooden nutmeg mill made of ash

Wooden nutmeg mill ash

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