What is the plant
Fraxinus quadrangulata, the blue ash, is a species of ash native primarily to the Midwestern United States from Oklahoma to Michigan, as well as the Bluegrass region of Kentucky and the Nashville Basin region of Tennessee. Isolated populations exist in Alabama, Southern Ontario, and small sections of the Appalachian Mountains. It is typically found over calcareous substrates such as limestone, growing on limestone slopes and in moist valley soils, at elevations of 120–600 m.
Fraxinus quadrangulata, commonly called blue ash, is native from Michigan south to Arkansas and Tennessee. In Missouri, it typically occurs in dry rocky woodlands, limestone glades and limestone bluffs in the Ozark region of the State (Steyermark). Early Americans made a blue dye from the inner bark, hence the common name. Corky-winged young twigs are distinctively four-sided, thus giving rise to another common name of winged ash. This is an upland species that typically grows 50-75’ tall with a narrow, irregularly rounded crown. Clusters of apetalous bisexual purplish flowers appear in April-May with the foliage. 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, each with 7-11 lance-shaped, dark green leaflets (4-5” long). Leaves turn pale and usually dull yellow in fall. Grayish bark on mature trees separates into irregular plates. As with white ash, the wood of blue ash is commercially used for a variety of products including tool handles and furniture.
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