back to previous page


Distant cousins of the olive, ashes vary, depending on type, from small, rather slender specimens to very large deciduous trees. The wood of the ash is prized for its suppleness and flexibility. No other wood has the pliant, strong, yet light qualities of ash wood.

Habitat: North America.

Janka Hardness Rating: 1320

The Tree: The ashes are usually medium to large trees, mostly deciduous though a few subtropical species are evergreen.

The Wood: Ash hardwood flooring can vary from creamy white to dark brown. Its wood has a lustrous appearance, and its texture is rather coarse. The grain is bold and straight, with an occasional wavy pattern. Ash is hard, strong, and flexible, making it one of the most valuable hardwood species.

Uses: The wood is hard, tough and very strong but elastic, extensively used for making bows, tool handles, quality wooden baseball bats, hockey sticks and other uses demanding high strength and resilience. It is also often used as material for electric guitar bodies, known for its bright, cutting tone and sustaining quality, as well as snooker cues. Ash veneers are extensively used in office furniture.