Ash - one of the noble deciduous trees
The ash wood with its various application possibilities is beside the oak a beautiful and sought-after hardwood.
The common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) has high demands on its location and its water supply, and is therefore limited to less stagnant areas such as oak or beech. It can often be found in floodplain forests or along streams, which is also indicated by place names such as “Eschenbach”. It can grow up to 300 years old and 40m high and has its distribution area in large parts of Europe up to the Ural Mountains in Russia.
The ash has feathered leaves, which distinguishes it from many forest tree species and makes it easy to recognize. In winter, the large black buds, which were planted for spring shoots, are also clearly visible.
By the way, the rowan is not botanically related to the ash. However, it owes its name to the similarity of its leaves to those of the ash.
The ash dieback
The fungus “False white stem yellow cup” (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) introduced from East Asia causes orange-brown bark necroses in our native ash species, which in the long term lead to the death of the tree. The spores of the fungus attack the leaves of the ash, from where the fungus penetrates the shoots and leads to their death.
Unfortunately, according to current knowledge, there is no way to stop the progression of this disease. However, some trees seem to show little infestation or even resistance. These trees should be specifically promoted to hopefully ensure the survival of our native ash species.
Ash wood is quite hard and abrasion-resistant – it also has high bending and tensile strength. These good mechanical properties make it a preferred wood for woodturning, sports equipment and tool handles. It is also very popular for interior fittings and furniture. The ring-porous structure of the ash tree rings ensures that the boards and planks cut from them have particularly clear and beautiful structures.
The wood is actually light, but often turns brown from the core at a tree age of about 70 years and thus represents a great devaluation depending on the use and wishes of the buyer. At the moment the fashion trend is still more towards light woods, but who knows what the future will bring?