Ash is one of the most valuable woods of the Central European forest, found mainly along streams and rivers and in riparian forests. Thanks to its elasticity and shock resistance, it is known for its use in gymnastic equipment and tool handles. The wood gets its typical, expressive character from its ring and coarse pores. The brown heart of the ash does not develop until it is about 70 to 90 years old, depending on the location. The brown to dark brown or sometimes light brown heartwood stands out slightly against the broad, light yellowish sapwood.
Trade names and other names
German: Esche mit Kern, Esche Braunkern
Italian: Frassino maggiore, Frassino comune
Spanish: Fresno norteño, Fresno grande
Dutch: Aesche, As
Available veneer thicknesses
0.56, 0.9, 1.4, 2.4 mm, other thicknesses on request
Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) is found throughout Europe with the exception of Central and Southern Spain, in the Near East and partly in India.
Trunk and bark
As a rule, ash trees reach a height of between 17 and 35 metres. On particularly good sites, however, heights of over 40 m can be reached. The ash can be up to 20 m knot-free and 1 m thick. The bark of the ash is smooth and greenish grey up to the age of 50, later brown, almost black, with broad longitudinal and transverse cracks.
The bark is greenish in young alder, later changing to dark brown and becoming quite cracked.
Characteristics and wood colour
The ash is ring-porous, the large vessels in the early wood appear as coarse needle cracks in longitudinal section. The annual rings are clearly visible in all sections of the Ash. The wood of the European Ash is creamy white to light brown, sometimes with a dark brown or black heartwood. Heartwood and sapwood are hardly distinguishable. Dark heartwood is a quality defect in ash, as the wood with red, brown or black heartwood is not as tough as those of white colour.