Ontario Trees & Shrubs website

Ashes Group

To see all  Ashes  in order by Common Name     START HERE

Black Ash (Fraxinus nigra)
Black Ash (Fraxinus nigra)

Ashes are notoriously difficult to tell apart for the novice tree student. But they're nowhere near as hard as Willows!

Ashes have compound opposite leaves. Their branches are very obviously opposite when viewed against the sky.

The most common ashes are White Ash (Fraxinus americana) and Black Ash (Fraxinus nigra). These two species grow in entirely different environments, and their bark is quite different, so they're fairly easy to tell apart. See each tree's page for more details.

Please note: Green Ash and Red Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) are now considered to be the same species.

See also: The Monday Garden, by Sue Sweeney

Here's a list of the Ashes that occur in Ontario, with some key identifying features.
Black Ash (Fraxinus nigra) common in wet areas, swamps; corky bark; leaflets have no stalks; winter end side buds down a bit from the terminal bud
Blue Ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata) square twigs
Pumpkin Ash (Fraxinus profunda) base of trunk pumpkin-shaped
Red Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) undersides of leaves hairy
White Ash (Fraxinus americana) common in forests, uplands; ridged bark; leaflets on small stalks; winter end side buds right up against the terminal bud

White Ash (Fraxinus americana)
White Ash (Fraxinus americana)

This photo shows the distinctive form of Ashes (in general) in the winter. Notice how the twigs are stout and obviously opposite. Maples are the group usually confused with Ashes in the winter. Their twigs are much less stout, almost scraggly. In fact, sometimes one has to search to find an obviously opposite pair.

This is a White Ash (Fraxinus americana).
To see all  Ashes  in order by Common Name     START HERE