Fraxinus nigra, Black Ash

Black Ash
photos by Dennis Kalma
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
ITIS Number:
NRCS Symbol:
  Fraxinus nigra Marsh.
Black Ash
Oleaceae (Olives)


Leaves: opposite-compound; 27-40 cm long; 7-11 leaflets, always with sharply pointed teeth; leaflets never stalked; in spring with tufts of reddish-brown hairs where the leaflet attaches to the leaf-stalk but these are lost during the summer

Buds: very dark brown to dark brown (good distinguishing character in winter)

Twigs: grayish brown, dull; leaf scar not deeply notched

Bark: corky and bumpy when young; warty and scaly when older

Tree: up to 20 m tall; diameter to 50 cm

Fruits: blunt on both ends

Habitat: floodplains, wet woods, swamps

Range: Newfoundland and Quebec, west to Manitoba, south to Iowa, east to Indiana, West Virginia, and Delaware

Similar species: can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from the other Ashes, Fraxinus spp, as some of the characters can overlap - try to use as many characters as possible - but the texture of thte bark is often one of the most useful

    Fraxinus nigra - pole bark    
    distinctive corky bark of pole-sized tree
~7cm dbh