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Last edited 12 Sep 2022
Ash wood, specifically the fraxinus excelsior, Common or European ash (sometimes also called golden ash), is a large tree and the third most common tree in the UK, where is is a native species. Ash trees may be found with large trunks often due to being pollarded, and can live up to 350 years. Other ash trees that some might call native and grow in the UK include the Claret Ash (Fraxinus angustifolia var.oxycarpa) also called Narrow Leaf or Raywood Ash, as well as the Manna Ash (Fraxinus ornus), also known as the Flowering Ash which is native to central Europe.
In 2019 a paper was published highlighting threats to ash species because of issues such as Ash Dieback which was first discovered in 2012, as well as Emerald Ash Borer found in North America. It also highlighted the significance of ash in supporting biodiversity, being 'home to almost 1000 other species including birds, insects, mosses, fungi and lichen'
 Forestry products
Ash timber has been worked by hand for many years, it is a very tough hardwood, able to absorb shocks without splintering and is considered attractive. It is used to make sports and tool handles, such as hammers, axes, spades, hockey sticks and oars as well as a variety of furniture. As a forestry product the timber was used in the 1800's for carriages, and is still used by specialist motor car manufacturer Morgan. As a coppiced wood it traditionally provided wood for firewood and charcoal, as a solid hardwood, burning well. The seeds have also been used in herbal medicine.
- Common Name(s): European Ash, Common Ash
- Scientific Name: Fraxinus excelsior
- Distribution: Europe and southwestern Asia
- Tree Size: 65-115 ft (20-35 m) tall, 3-6 ft (1-2 m) trunk diameter
- Average Dried Weight: 42 lbs/ft3 (680 kg/m3)
- Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .49, .68
- Janka Hardness: 1,480 lbf (6,580 N)
- Modulus of Rupture: 15,020 lbf/in2 (103.6 MPa)
- Elastic Modulus: 1,785,000 lbf/in2 (12.31 GPa)
 Other ashes
There are many many other varieties of ash grown throughout the world these include;
- Black ash (Fraxinus nigra) US and Canada, most devastated by emerald ash borer
- Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) North America, impacted by emerald ash borer.
- White ash (Fraxinus americana), also known as Biltmore ash, from North America and affected badly by emerald ash borer.
- Blue ash (Fraxinum quadrangulata). Mid US higher survival rate in areas infested by emerald ash borer.
- California ash (Fraxinus dipetala). California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Baja California, not yet infected by the beetle.
- Carolina ash (Fraxinus caroliana). Also Florida, swamp ash, water and pop ash. Cuba, subtropical southern U.S.
- Gregg's ash (Fraxinus greggii) also littleleaf, Mexican or dogleg ash. Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
- Pumpkin ash (Fraxinus profunda) also welled butt or red ash, devastated by emerald ash borer.
- Velvet ash (Fraxinus velutina) also Arizona or Modesto ash. Emerald ash borer more recently an issue. Southwestern North America.
- Manchurian ash (Fraxinus mandschurica) experimenting with cross breeding with native North American ashes in order to develop species that can survive the beetle onslaught. grows in Eastern Asia.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings
- A guide to the use of urban timber FB 50.
- Forest Stewardship Council.
- Lime wood.
- Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.
- Timber vs wood.
- Types of timber.
- Wood ash.
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