black ash

(Fraxinus nigra)

Conservation Status
black ash
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
  Midwest

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Black ash is a moderately slow-growing deciduous tree. In Minnesota mature trees are usually 30 to 50 tall and 12 to 24 in diameter at breast height. Large individuals can reach over 80 in height and 38 in diameter. It is a moderately short-lived tree.

The trunk is slender and often leaning or crooked. It rises from a shallow, wide-spreading root system. The crown is narrow, open, and slightly rounded. The branches are stout, short, and ascending.

The bark on young trees is smooth and light gray with orangish streaks. As it ages it develops corky ridges that are soft to the touch and easy to rub off with the palm of the hand or indent with a fingernail.

The twigs when young are stout, hairless, round or oval in cross section, and light green with prominent, raised, dark purple dots (lenticels). Older twigs are dull gray with light brown lenticels. The buds are bluish-black, small, cone-shaped, and covered with fine hairs. The terminal bud is to long, broad, and pointed. The terminal bud is distinctly separated on the twig from the uppermost pair of flowering buds. The leaf scars are elliptic to oval.

The leaves are deciduous, opposite, and pinnately compound. They are 9 to 16 long and are divided into 7 to 11, sometimes 13, leaflets. The leaflets are arranged in opposite pairs and 1 terminal leaflet. The lateral leaflets are stalkless. They are thin, firm, lance-shaped to oblong, 2¾ to 5½ long, and 1 to 2 wide. They are tapered or rounded at the base and taper at the tip to a long, slender point with concave sides along the tip. The upper surface is dark green and hairless. The lower surface is lighter green and hairless except for reddish-brown hairs along the midrib. There is a tuft of reddish-brown hairs where the leaflet attaches to the central leaf stalk. The margins are finely toothed. In autumn they turn yellow to reddish-brown and are shed as entire leaves. The tips of the leaflets tend to droop.

A tree may have flowers with both male and female parts (perfect), only male flowers, or only female flowers. They are borne in small, dense clusters often near the ends of the twigs. They are purplish, small, and inconspicuous, and have no petals. They appear in late April to June just before or at the same time as the leaves.

The fruit is a 1 to 1¾ long, ¼ to wide samara consisting of a flattened seed case with a dry, flattened, papery, wing. The wing is broad, often twisted, blunt and barely notched at the tip, and extending to or almost to the base of the seed case. The seed case is strongly flattened, barely thicker than the wing. It contains a single seed. The samara ripens from June to September and is dispersed from July to October.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

30 to 50

 
     
 

Record

 
 

The champion black ash in Minnesota is on private property near St. Peter, in Nicollet County. In 2020 it was measured at 111 tall and 90.275 in circumference (28¾ in diameter).

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Purplish

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Blue ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata) twigs are 4-angled, or winged. The leaflets are on short leaflet stalks.

Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) first-season twigs are densely hairy, velvety. The leaf scars are half-round and are straight along the upper edge. The uppermost pair of lateral buds occurs at the base of the terminal bud. The leaves have 5 to 9, usually 7, leaflets. The leaflets do not droop. The wing of the samara extends to half or more of the seed case.

White ash (Fraxinus americana) leaf scars are from top to bottom half-round, not elliptic to oval, and are deeply notched at the top. The uppermost pair of lateral buds occurs at the base of the terminal bud. The leaves have 5 to 9, usually 7, leaflets. The leaflets are pale or whitish on the underside and are on short but distinct leaflet stalks. The wing of the samara does not extend to the base of the seed case.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Wet. Floodplain forests, borders of coniferous swamps and bogs. Full or partial sun.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

Late April to June

 
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
 

 

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 28.

 
  9/26/2013      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Lamiales (mints, plantains, olives, and allies)  
 

Family

Oleaceae (olive)  
  Tribe Oleeae  
  Genus Fraxinus (ash)  
  Section Melioides  
       
 

Synonyms

 
     
       
 

Common Names

 
 

basket ash

black ash

brown ash

hoop ash

swamp ash

water ash

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Lenticel

A corky, round or stripe-like, usually raised, pore-like opening in bark that allows for gas exchange.

 

Pinnate

Having the leaflets of a compound leaf arranged on opposite sides of a common stalk.

 

Samara

A dry fruit consisting of a seed attached to a papery wing; one seeded in Elms and Ashes, two-seeded in Maples.

       
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Leaves

  black ash   black ash
       

Leaf

  black ash   black ash
       
  black ash   black ash
       

Leaflet Attachment

  black ash   black ash
       

Bark

  black ash   black ash
       
  black ash    
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Fraxinus nigra
Blake C. Willson
 
  Fraxinus nigra  
 
About

Black Ash

 
     

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
       

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Other Videos
 
  How to tell White, Black, & Green Ash Apart
Gregor Wilke
   
   
 
About

Published on Aug 27, 2012

A tutorial of how to tell the America's 3 most common Eastern Ash trees apart. Fraxinus nigra (Black Ash) Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Green Ash) and Fraxinus americana (White Ash) can be confusing to tell apart to the average eye. This tutorial is designed to point out the main differences between the trees, so that after a bit of practice anyone can I.D. these trees in the field, or in their yard. Knowing what kind of ash tree you have, or are dealing with may be especially important with the onset of Emerald Ash Borer and determining what value your ash trees may hold.

Check out my other tutorials!
How to Do a Backflip- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E3WFKxmQNs
Mac Green Screen Tutorial- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYjQt-eC748

   
       
  Trees with Don Leopold - black ash
ESFTV
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 27, 2012

No description available.

   
       

 

Camcorder


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