White Ash

Fraxinus americana L. – Oleaceae – olive family

White Ash is a commercially important wood used in making baseball bats, hockey sticks, tool handles and furniture.  Unfortunately, this species appears to be a ‘goner,’ at least in the midwestern U.S.  It has been wiped out by a tiny Eurasian beetle, the emerald ash borer, which first appeared in our country (in SE Michigan) during summer, 2002. Hundreds of trees have been killed and removed in Albion.

The beetles make a distinctive D-shaped hole.  Information on the disease and its spread may be found at http://www.emeraldashborer.info/ .

White ash makes excellent firewood, especially the ‘back log’ that keeps the fire burning through the night.  Regulations now prohibit moving all firewood to some areas because of the potential spread of this horrible invasive insect.  Check out this British poem about firewood, which touts the superiority of their species of ash.

The tree we have photographed is standing on Michigan Ave. near Anna’s House of Flowers.  It is one of the few remaining white ash trees on Albion’s streets.