Scientific Name: Fraxinus americana
Other Names and Species: American ash,
Biltmore ash, Canadian ash, Fresno
White ash, a North American tree, is not to be
confused with mountain ash (eucalyptus regnans),
which is native to Victoria and Tasmania. Mountain ash is the tallest hardwood species in the world, and is only exceeded in height by the redwoods of California. The sapwood of mountain ash has a pale pink-brown color that is somewhat darker than the sample of white ash shown to the left.
Origin: North America
Appearance: The heartwood is a light yellowish brown, while the sapwood is a pale brown. The grain of this wood is crisscross, and the texture is coarse and uneven.
Properties: The sapwood of white ash is creamy white, while the heartwood ranges from light tan to dark brown. The grain is bold and straight, with an occasional wavy pattern; and in plain-sawn boards it can have a strong contrast. The wood has a lustrous appearance, and the texture is rather coarse.
Workability: White ash has good machining qualities, and it sands satisfactorily. When nailed, it has good holding ability, and it resists splitting. The wood responds well to staining and preservative treatment.
Principal Uses: Because ash wood is so hard, strong, and flexible, it is among the most valuable hardwood species. It is best known for baseball bats (e.g., the legendary "Louisville Slugger"). It is also used for fine flooring, furniture, tool handles, and sports equipment.