Fraxinus spp.

 

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Family: Oleaceae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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American Ash

 

 

 

Ash (Fraxinus sp.) is composed of 40 to 70 species, with 21 in Central and North America and 50 species in Eurasia. All species look alike microscopically. The name fraxinus is the classical Latin name for ash.

Fraxinus americana*- 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

Fraxinus anomala-Dwarf Ash, Singleleaf Ash

Fraxinus berlandierana-Berlandier Ash, Mexican Ash

Fraxinus caroliniana-Carolina Ash, Florida Ash, Pop Ash, Swamp Ash, Water Ash

Fraxinus cuspidata-Flowering Ash, Fragrant Ash

Fraxinus dipetala-California Flwoering Ash, California Shrub Ash, Foothill Ash, Flowering Ash, Fringe-flowering Ash, Mountain Ash, Two-petal Ash

Fraxinus gooddingii-Goodding Ash

Fraxinus greggii?-Dogleg Ash, Gregg Ash, Littleleaf Ash

Fraxinus latifolia*-Basket Ash, Oregon Ash, Water Ash, White Ash

Fraxinus nigra*-American Black Ash, Basket Ash, Black Ash, Brown Ash, Canadian Ash, Hoop Ash, Splinter Ash, Swamp Ash, Water Ash

Fraxinus papillosa-Chihuahua Ash

Fraxinus pennsylvanica*-Bastard Ash, Black Ash, Blue Ash, Brown Ash, Canadian Ash, Darlington Ash, Gray Ash, Green Ash, Piss Ash, Pumpkin Ash, Red Ash, Rim Ash, River Ash, Soft Ash,?Swamp Ash, Water Ash, White Ash

Fraxinus profunda*-Pumpkin Ash, Red Ash

Fraxinus quadrangulata*-Blue Ash, Virginia Ash

Fraxinus texensis-Texas Ash

Fraxinus velutina-Arizona Ash, Desert Ash, Leatherleaf Ash, Modesto Ash, Smooth Ash, Toumey Ash, Velvet Ash

(* commercial species)

 

 

 

Distribution

The north temperate regions of the globe.

The Tree

Ashes are trees or shrubs with large, opposite, pinnately compound leaves, which are shed in the fall. The compound leaves have 2 to 11 leaflets. The flowers can be bisexual or there can be distinct male and female flowers on separate trees. The flowers have no petals and the fruits are dry with a flattened wing.

 

The Wood

General

The sapwood of ash is light brown, while the heartwood is brown to grayish brown. White as and Oregon ash have lighter heartwood than the other commercial species. The width of the sapwood is 3 to 6 inches. It is ring porous, with the latewood being composed of parenchyma which surrounds and unites the latewood pores in tangential bands. It has no characteristic odor or taste.

Mechanical Properties (2-inch standard)

 

 

 

 

Compression

 

 

 

 

Specific

gravity

MOE

X106 lbf/in2

MOR

lbf/in2

Parallel

lbf/in2

Perpendicular

lbf/in2

WMLa

in-lbf/in3

Hardness

lbf

Shear

lbf/in2

F. americana (white ash)

Green

0.55

1.44

9,600

3,990

670

15.7

960

1,350

Dry

0.60

1.74

15,000

7,410

1,160

16.6

1,320

1,910

F.latifolia (Oregon ash)

Green

0.50

1.13

7,600

3,510

530

12.2

790

1,190

Dry

0.55

1.36

12,700

6,040

1,250

14.4

1,160

1,790

F. nigra (black ash)

Green

0.45

1.04

6,000

2,300

350

12.1

520

860

Dry

0.49

1.60

12,600

5,970

760

14.9

850

1,570

F. pennsylvanica (green ash)

Green

0.53

1.40

9,500

4,200

730

11.8

870

1,260

Dry

0.56

1.66

14,100

7,080

1,310

14.9

1,200

1,910

F. profunda (pumpkin ash)

Green

0.48

1.04

7,600

3,360

990

9.4

750

1,210

Dry

0.52

1.27

11,100

5,690

1,800

8.0

990

1,720

F. quadrangulata (blue ash)

Green

0.53

1.24

9,600

4,180

810

14.7

1,030

1,540

Dry

0.58

1.40

13,800

6,980

1,420

14.4

2,030

2,030

aWML = Work to maximum load.

bReference (98).

cReference (59).

 

 

 

 

 

Drying and Shrinkage

Type of shrinkage

Percentage of shrinkage
(green to final moisture content)

0% MC

6% MC

20% MC

F. americana (white ash)

Tangential

7.8

6.2

2.6

Radial

4.9

3.8

1.6

Volumetric

13.3

10.7

4.5

F.latifolia (Oregon ash)

Tangential

8.1

Radial

4.1

Volumetric

13.2

F. nigra (black ash)

Tangential

7.8

6.2

2.6

Radial

5.0

4.0

1.7

Volumetric

15.2

12.2

5.1

F. pennsylvanica (green ash)

Tangential

7.1

5.7

2.4

Radial

4.6

3.7

1.5

Volumetric

12.5

10.0

4.2

F. profunda (pumpkin ash)

Tangential

6.3

Radial

3.7

Volumetric

12.0

F. quadrangulata (blue ash)

Tangential

6.5

Radial

3.9

Volumetric

11.7

References: 0% MC (98),
6% and 20% MC (90).

Kiln Drying Schedulea

 

Stock

Condition

4/4, 5/4, 6/4

8/4

10/4

12/4

16/4

Standard

T8-D4

T5-B3

T5-B3

T3-B2

T3-A1

aReferences (6, 86).

Working Properties: Ash is straight grained, heavy, hard, strong, stiff and wears smooth with high shock resistance. It machines well and is better than average in nail and screw holding capacity. It glues moderately well. Black, green, Pumpkin and Blue ashes have lower specific gravities and lower strength properties, but are still moderately strong, hard, and stiff compared to other native hardwoods. They also split easier, shrink more, are average in workability and perform less well in service.

Durability: Classed as slightly to non-resistant to heartwood decay.

Preservation: No information available at this time.

Uses: Handle stock, baseball bats, unupholstered furniture, flooring, millwork, hand tools, sporting goods, boxes and crates.

Toxicity: No information available at this time.

Additional Reading and References Cited (in parentheses)

1. Boone, R.S., C.J. Kozlik, P.J. Bois & E.M. Wengert. 1988. Dry kiln schedules for ?commercial woods - temperate and tropical. USDA Forest Service, FPL ?General Technical Report FPL-GTR-57.

2. Elias, T.S. 1980. The complete trees of North America, field guide and natural history. ?Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 948 pp.

3. Hausen, B. M. 1981. Wood Injurious to Human Health: A Manual. Walter deGruyter ?& Co., Berlin, Germany; New York, NY.

4. Little, Jr., E.L.1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). USDA ?Forest Service, Ag. Handbook No. 541, USGPO, Washington, DC.

5. Markwardt, L.J. and T.R.C. Wilson. 1935. Strength and related properties of woods ?grown in the United States. USDA Forest Service, Tech. Bull. No. 479. USGPO, ?Washington, DC.

6. Mitchell, J.; Rook, A. 1979. Botanical Dermatology: Plants and Plant Products ?Injurious to the Skin. Greenglass Ltd., 691 W. 28th Ave., Vancouver, British ?Columbia, Canada V5H 2H4.

7. Panshin, A.J. and C. de Zeeuw. 1980. Textbook of Wood Technology, 4th Ed., ?McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 722 pp.

8. Simpson, W.T. 1991. Dry kiln operator's manual. USDA Forest Service, FPL Ag. ?Handbook 188.

9. Stewart, H.A. and J.E. Krajicek. 1973. Ash, an American wood. USDA Forest Service, ?FS-216.

10. Summitt, R. and A. Sliker. 1980. CRC handbook of materials science. Volume 4, ?wood. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FL. 459 pp.

11. Woods, B.; Calnan, C. D. 1976. Toxic Woods. British Journal of Dermatology?95(13):1-97 Published by Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, England OX2 ?OEL.

Harry A. Alden, 1994