Common Ash

photo of douglas fir

  • Species:  Fraxinus excelsior
  • Family: Oleaceae
  • Origin: Europe
  • Common Name: Ash
  • Mature Height: - m.
The Common Ash, is a good indicator of alkaline soils. It occurs throughout Europe (including Britain) and eastward to the Caucasus and into North Africa . Fraxinus excelsior belongs to the olive family - Oleaceae. Pure ashwoods are rare in Scotland but there are two: Rassall ashwood at the head of Loch Kishorn in Wester Ross and at Tokavaig on Skye. Fraxinus excelsior, and some of its selected forms, have been widely planted in parks, for they can withstand some pollution. It is also an important timber tree for the wood does not splinter on impact, is hard and dense and so is used for industrial and sport handles and oars. The wood can be bent so it is valuable for making furniture. The tree allegedly has had mystical properties to ward off evil spirits and is sometimes called the 'Venus of the Woods'..