Ash trees are in the Fraxinus genus within the olive (Oleaceae) family of woody plants.They are often used as shade, lawn, and street trees, and were once the most-planted urban tree across the U.S. You can identify ashes by looking for trees with opposite branching (not many trees do this) and compound leaves formed by clusters of leaflets. Black ash has male and female trees, and it produces small winged seeds in hanging clusters called samara that ripen in September and can remain on the tree until the late fall. Trunk: Corky when young. The tree. A tiny mite called Eriophyid is responsible for infesting the ash tree. Adapted to poorly drained and humid soils, it naturally grows in peat-bogs, along streams and on alternately flooded lands. The opposite, pinnately-compound leaves are 15 to 30 cm, with seven to 11 leaflets. The winter buds are dark brown to blackish, with a velvety texture. Habitat: Wet Areas; Wet areas. Black ash is a slow-growing tree of northern wooded swamps. Black Ash can be either dioecious or monoecious; it less commonly produces perfect flowers. Though it rarely attains a wide girth, this slender tree can reach heights of 90 feet (27 m) or more. Once the galls begin to grow, the disease cannot be cured. It can also reproduce asexually by suckering. Depending on its location, the black ash will reach heights of 12 to 20 meters with a girth up to 50 centimeters. Black ash is a medium-sized deciduous tree reaching 15–20 m (exceptionally 26 m) tall with a trunk up to 60 cm (24 inches) diameter, or exceptionally to 160 cm (63 inches). Hairy on undersides only where leaflet joins leaf stalk. The species is dioecious; that is, male and female flowers are borne on different trees. Fruit are elongated, winged samaras. Scaly when old. Game birds and songbirds such as wood ducks, wild turkeys, and cardinals, as well as mammals, including black bears, foxes, and squirrels, feed on the seeds. Female flowers are about 3 mm. The bark is grey, thick and corky even on young trees, becoming scaly and fissured with age. It causes male flowers to grow into small greenish round structures that turn dark brown in late summer. Although these galls do not harm the tree, they look unsightly. Flowers: Spring Leaves: Opposite/Whorled, Compound, Entire; Opposite, compound. Male flowers are about 3 mm. These purplish flowers are produced in compact clusters during the spring before the vernal leaves develop. The small flowers lack petals and sepals and appear in crowded clusters prior to leaf out. Leaflets have no stalks whatsoever. Black Ash is a broad-leaved hardwood tree in the Olive family, growing to 15 to 20 m in height and 30 to 50 cm in diameter. (1/8") long, each one consisting of a pair of stamens; they lack calyces and corollas. Books: Trees in Canada: 166 Native/Non-native: Native Status: Common. The black ash has a lifespan of up to a century and does not tolerate shade. Smooth on top.
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