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Florida 4-H Forest Ecology

Florida 4-H Forest Ecology

White Ash

Fraxinus americana
Family: Oleaceae

Natural History

Winged fruits of white ash | Photo credit: Keith Kanoti, Maine Forest Service,

The white ash is also known as American biltmore or cane ash. It is widely known for the variety of goods that are made from its high quality, tough, and durable wood.

The white ash derives its common name from the glaucous undersides of its leaves. It is very similar in appearance to green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), often making identification quite difficult. The key to differentiating these two species is to closely examine the leaf scars. White ash leaf scars are deeply notched and take the shape of a horseshoe, while green ash leaf scars, which are flat against the bud, are shield-shaped.

Additionally, the bottom surface of the white ash leaf is white or gray in color, while that of the green ash is more greenish. Site can also be used as a good indicator.

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