White Ash, Fraxinus americana
Oleaceae or Olive Family


Large tree to about 80 ft tall. Bark ridged and furrowed. Leaves opposite each other, compound, with 5 to 9 leaflets that may or may not be toothed. Leaflets usually pale beneath (hence the common name). Flowers before the leaves, greenish to reddish, not showy, males and females on separate trees. Fruits are samaras or keys, flat and narrow, with a seed at one end, and a large wing. Fruits fall in early summer. Leaves turn color early in the fall, going trhough brilliant reds and oranges.

An imposing native forest tree of upland areas. In Wildwood fairly common on the slopes.

The flattened fruit is unmistakeable as an ash fruit, and since only one ash is known from Wildwood, one can be sure of the identity. The combination of opposite, compound leaves is a good identifier, as well. Boxelder, also called ashleaf maple, has somewhat similar opposite leaves, but they usually have 5 leaflets that are coarsely toothed, and fruits are double samaras. Common elderberry also has similar opposite leaves, but it is a shrub with showy flowers and berries.

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Leaf Fruiting branch Fruits

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