Fraxinus americana, the white ash or American ash, is a species of ash tree native to eastern and central North America. It is found in mesophytic hardwood forests from Nova Scotia west to Minnesota, south to northern Florida, and southwest to eastern Texas. Isolated populations have also been found in western Texas, Wyoming, and Colorado, and the species is reportedly naturalized in Hawaii.
Fraxinus americana, commonly called white ash, is native to eastern North America. In Missouri, it typically occurs in dry and rocky upland woods, glades and moist low woods along streams, bluffs and slopes throughout the state (Steyermark). This is the largest of the native ashes, typically growing 60-80’ tall. Young trees are pyramidal in shape, gradually maturing to a more rounded crown. White ash is primarily dioecious (separate male and female trees). Clusters of apetalous purplish male and female flowers appear on separate trees in April-May before the late-to-emerge foliage. Fertilized female flowers give way to drooping clusters of winged samaras (to 2” long) that ripen in fall and may persist on the tree throughout winter. Features odd-pinnate compound leaves with 7 leaflets (less frequently 5 or 9). Oval to oblong-lanceolate leaflets (3-5” long) are dark green above and whitish green below. Foliage turns yellow with purple shading in fall. Gray bark develops distinctive diamond-shaped ridging on mature trees. White ash is a valuable timber tree. Its wood is commercially used for a variety of products including tool handles, oars, garden furniture and sports equipment. White ash is the wood used for Louisville Slugger baseball bats.