Ash Tree Information
Ash trees are the most commonly-planted tree in North America with over 8.7 BILLION trees planted all across the country. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle has already killed hundreds of millions of ash trees and, if left untreated, EAB will kill all ash trees in North America in the very near future.
Emerald Ash Borer Distribution USA
Fraxinus pennsylvanica, or green ash, is native to North America. Other names for this tree include red ash, downy ash, swamp ash and water ash. This species of ash is the most commonly-planted tree in the United States. The green ash is a deciduous tree reaching up to 82 feet tall at maturity with a trunk up to 75 inches around. Its spread can cover over 40 feet. The green ash is the most widely distributed ash tree in America and provides food and shelter to many varieties of wildlife. This tree is popularly used as an ornamental tree due to its vibrant coloration and provides excellent protection from wind and sun. Due to the Emerald Ash Borer invasion, green ash trees are critically endangered, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Fraxinus nigra, or black ash, is also native to North America. Other names for this tree include brown ash, hoop ash and water ash. The black ash is a deciduous tree that can reach as much as 66 feet in height with a trunk circumference of 72 inches. The black ash tree is closely related to the green ash and the two are sometimes confused. Black ash trees are among the first to lose their foliage in the fall. These trees were particulary useful for Native Americans to make baskets and other tools. It is also a popular wood for making guitars. In 2014, this tree was considered "extremely abundant," but is now listed as critically endangered by IUCN.
Fraxinus americana, or white ash, is native to North America and is among the most common of ash trees, second to green ash. A deciduous tree, the white ash earns its name from the pale-gray coloration of the undersides of its leaves. This tree can grow up to 100 feet in height and reach a trunk circumference of over 100 inches. White ash is an extremely common tree used for everyday purposes and is cultivated wherever possible. It is traditionally used for baseball bats and tool handles. Although it is popularly cultivated, this tree is in extreme danger of extinction due to emerald ash borer infestations. The IUCN marks the tree as critically endangered.