open main page here



ASH, MISC

Fraxinus spp.


A NOTE ABOUT ASH SPECIES IN THE USA



Fraxinus spp. of the family Oleaceae, the Olive family. There are hundreds of species from dozens of genera that have the word ash as all or part of one or more of their common names but it is my intent that the woods on this page be from the genus Fraxinus (about 50 of which use ash as all or part of one or more of their common names) unless specifically stated with a sample. Australian woods in particular (that have "ash" in their name) are not related to actual ash (genus Fraxinus).

As this wood has been in use for thousands of years this name also crops up in the names of completely unrelated woods (the same is the case with "oak", "pine" and "cedar"). Not to be confused with sen, which looks a little like ash, but is something else entirely and which I had mistakenly included in this ash section until I realized my mistake.

I've broken out white ash, black ash, olive ash, and tamo ash with their own pages. All other ash species are on this page.



my samples:


sample plank and end grain sold to me as Oregon ash / Fraxinus oregona


end grain closeup of the piece directly above



END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


first face and the end grain of a sample of Oregon ash / Fraxinus oregona. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION A


the second face, before and after sanding, showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.


both sides of a sample plank of Oregon ash / Fraxinus latifolia --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of quartersawn Oregon ash / Fraxinus latifolia --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Berlandier ash / Fraxinus berlandierana --- HUGE enlargements are present


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Berlandier ash / Fraxinus berlandierana --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Berlandier ash / Fraxinus berlandierana --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a plank of Carolina ash / Fraxinus Caroliniana


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above



END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Carolina ash / Fraxinus caroliniana --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Carolina ash / Fraxinus caroliniana --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Caucasian ash / Fraxinus oxycarpa --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a plank of pumpkin ash / Fraxinus profunda


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above --- the one above was cut with a sharp circular saw and this is that surface sanded down to 1200 grit. This one looks more fuzzy in this view because the pores are clogged with the very fine powder from the fine sanding, but if you check the 2nd enlargement in particular you will see that this one shows more fine detail.



END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Southern swamp ash / Fraxinus profunda --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of Southern swamp ash / Fraxinus profunda --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of fresno (aka Mexican ash) / Fraxinus uhdei --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The first side is freshly sanded and the second side is a bit rough which accounts for the difference in coarsness between the two. I note that although this is supposedly the same species as the sample directly below, the end grain characteristics are noticeably different.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of tropical ash / Fraxinus uhdei --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. I note that although this is supposedly the same species as the sample directly above, the end grain characteristics are noticeably different.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of velvet ash / Fraxinus velutina


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above



END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of velvet ash / Fraxinus velutina --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of velvet ash / Fraxinus velutina --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


first face and the end grain of a sample listed as just "ash". Based on the group of samples this was with, my guess is that this is almost certainly American white ash but that's not 100%. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION B


the second face, before and after slicing off 1/8" showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.


end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above.



both sides and both ends of a wormy ash sample


end grain closeup of the piece directly above --- the worm holes are mostly filled with sawdust


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


NOT a raw wood color
part of a finished slab table just labeled ash. This was cut in the Pacific Northwest and is most likely American white ash, but I'm not positive of that. HUGE enlargements are present.




These ash pics were posted by Rob Mathison on the WoodBarter forum and none of us had a solid idea what was going on other than to guess that it was good years / bad years in the growing seasons. My friend Mark Peet, on the other hand, had seen it before and had this to say about it

This grain pattern is somewhat common in the butt log of ash trees that grow on heavy slopes. Once the tree is off center, it develops compression wood to better anchor the tree. This grain pattern usually disappears by 4'-6' feet up the stem. The compression wood can develop for a few years and disappear and then re-develop if the tree shifts more. However, compression wood more commonly is a somewhat consistent pattern over a duration of many years. If this grain pattern is consistent for a length more than 6' feet, I would have to say it is genetically induced versus environmentally influenced.


face grain of two turning sticks


end grain of the two sticks above


Mark Peet sent me these pics as a curiosity. He's been cutting down an ash tree for firewood and when he cut out this chunk that had a branch that had died years ago and been overgrown by the tree, he slabbed the piece and then laid out the slabs to show how it looks internally.





ash veneer


these veneer sheets are typical of a form of ash that is commonly sold as a burl. It does not have the swirls and eyes that one normally associates with burls, but its designation as a burl is so widespread that I have to believe that it really does come from a burl formation on the trees. Its appearance is that of a really high-grain flat cut variety. For the first pic, the color is slightly too white and the next two are just a little too golden (should be slightly more white). The last one is quite accurate in color. This is probably white ash, but I don't know that for sure.


burl veneer, probably white ash --- these pics have a greenish tint that is not in the wood


The Wood Book pics


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
Biltmore ash (Fraxinus biltmoreana) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for all 3 views


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
swamp ash burl (Fraxinus sambucifolia, listed as black ash) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for all 3 views


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
blue ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for all 3 views


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
fringe flowered ash (Fraxinus dipetala) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for all 3 views


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
gray ash (Fraxinus pubescens, also listed as red ash) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for all 3 views


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
green ash (Fraxinus lanceolata) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for all 3 views


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
hoop ash (Fraxinus sambucifolia, also listed as black ash) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for all 3 views


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
leatherleaf ash (Fraxinus velutina) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for all 3 views


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
Oregon ash (Fraxinus oregona) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for all 3 views


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
water ash (Fraxinus caroliniana) from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for all 3 views



web pics:


brown ash log cross section


flat cut, quartersawn, and end grain


quartersawn plank listed as ash / Fraxinus excelsior and with wet and dry sections


ash end grain


planks identified only as ash --- some of the colors are unlikely


plank listed as American ash --- normally "American ash" means white ash, but this looks more like black ash to me.


crotch area ash plank pic submitted by David Ing, whom I thank; extreme enlargements are present.


ash plank with wet and dry areas, but unlikely pink color


quartersawn ash plank


plank listed as brown ash


curly ash crotch planks that I believe must have been moistened for the pics




both sides of each of 3 curly ash planks, all from the same vendor and all of which appear to have been moistened for the pics


bat blanks and bowl turning blank


ash veneer


flat cut ash veneer


ash veneer, all from the same vendor --- this is probably white ash


ash veneer sheet closeups with both levels of enlargement. These are all from the same vendor as the set directly above.


two sections of the same long ash veneer sheet. Notice how one end has a heavy curl and the other has almost no curl


listed as "brownheart ash, veneer", but that just means that there is some heartwood along with the sapwood. Ash heartwood is small and the sapwood is large, so most ash is sapwood. Actually, I'm not entirely clear on this --- I do know that the sap-wood-appearing outer part is normally quite large in ash but I don't think it can all be sapwood in the literal sense because the sap normally runs in just the outer part of the tree. This is what I call "two-tone" ash.


curly ash veneer --- this is probably white ash


"fiddleback" ash veneer --- as you can see, ash has a weak fiddleback figure and it's common for the curl in "curly" and "fiddleback" ash to NOT run the width of the sheet and, technically, this invalidates the "fiddleback" designation, which is used by many vendors simply to indicate a tight curl even if it doesn't run the full width. Most of this if not all of it is likely to be white ash.


listed as "American" ash veneer --- probably white ash


angel step veneer, quarter matched


"bird's eye" ash veneer --- to the extent that there even IS a bird's eye figure here, it is so faint as to be meaningless. I think this lable was just a marketing ploy


ash plank


flat cut planks, the 2nd one labeled "Southern White ash"


quilted ash plank, oiled to show grain better


quartersawn ash veneer and a quartersawn "European" ash plank


figured ash plank


figured ash veneer --- most if not all of this is probably white ash


figured French ash veneer




european white ash veneer


European white ash burl veneer


European ash veneer, all from the same vendor


European ash veneer sheet closeups with both levels of enlargement. All of these are from the same vendor as the set directly above. The first of these is obviously curly but was not labeled as such.


European ash veneer, quartersawn and with a strong curly figure


wormy ash plank


swamp ash plank






All of the images above are of "swamp ash" from the same vendor. See the note in the comments at the top of the page about the name "swamp ash"


planks, all from the same vendor, listed as swamp ash / Fraxinus profunda


guitar back sets listed as swamp ash / Fraxinus profunda







plank listed as Hawaiian ash


ash flooring


burls


solid ash burl


ash burl veneer


ash burl veneer

end burls





brown ash veneer


listed as Australian ash veneer --- I'm not sure about these and will do more research


spalted ash


pen blanks of spalted ash


spalted ash bowl blank


bowls


bowl listed as red ash. There are numerous ash species that have "red" as one of their common names.


thin wood for a guitar back and a solid guitar blank





ash hat by Dennis Ford. I don't normally solicit pics for this site but I found Dennis's work to be so striking that I asked, and he generously contributed this and several other pics of his hats, using various American domestic woods including Siberian elm, American elm, sweet gum, ash, and pecan. The finish on this one is Minwax wipe on poly. My thanks to Dennis for the pics.


ash table and closeup --- sent in by a correspondent who asked me to help identify the wood, which had been mistakenly identified as oak.


ash guitar


bowls made from ash semi-crotch areas


hollow forms


bowls


a vase and two views of an ash bowl, both shot at a woodworking show. HUGE enlargements are present.


bowls shot at a wooworking show. HUGE enlargements are present.


curly ash bowl


curly ash bowl


bowls by Bryan Nelson (NelsonWood). Bryan fine-polishes his bowls with 1200 or even higher grit sandpaper while they are spinning at high speed on the lathe and then finishes them there with a friction polish of his own devising, thus achieving a shine and color vibrancy that is beautiful to behold.


urn and 2 vases


pot made from spalted ash


vase listed as Welsh ash


crotch-area platter by David Ing. Not sure what finish this has, but it's not raw wood; extreme enlargements are present.


braclet of spalted ash


guitar body from a bookmatched pair of spalted as planks --- WOW !


bookmatched pair of end grain spalted ash pistol grips


spalted crotch bowl of English ash by Steve Earis; extreme enlargements are present on the first pic. Two views and I forgot to ask Steve which color is more correct.


spalted ash bowls


spalted ash bowl shot at a woodworking show. Finish was listed as Danish oil. HUGE enlargements are present.


spalted ash hollow form


two views of an ash hollow form


hollow forms listed as spalted (and it's clearly a white-rot type of spalt)


hollow form of spalted ash and a closeup of the top


two views of an ash burl vase shot at a woodworking show. HUGE enlargements are present.


segmented bowl listed as American white ash which makes me think it is PROBABLY Fraxinus americana (white ash and it belongs on the white ash page) but it might be Fraxinus pennsylvanica (American ash)