INDEX A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



Trees of Iowa: An Interactive Key

Black Ash
(Fraxinus nigra)


Leaves are toothed, opposite, compound with 7 to 13 leaflets.


click on a county

Iowa County Poweshiek County Jasper County Polk County Dallas County Guthrie County Audubon County Marshall County Story County Boone County Greene County Carroll County Washington County Keokuk County Mahaska County Marion County Warren County Madison County Louisa County Muscatine County Adair County Shelby County Crawford County Tama County Benton County Linn County Des Moines County Henry County Jefferson County Wapello County Monroe County Lucas County Clarke County Union County Cass County Adams County Montgomery County Mills County East Pottawattamie County West Pottawattamie County Harrison County Monona County Cedar County Jones County Lee County Van Buren County Davis County Appanoose County Wayne County Decatur County Ringgold County Taylor County Page County Fremont County Scott County Clinton County Jackson County Dubuque County Delaware County Buchanan County Black Hawk County Grundy County Hardin County Hamilton County Webster County Calhoun County Sac County Ida County Woodbury County Clayton County Bremer County Fayette County Chickasaw County Butler County Franklin County Wright County Humboldt County Pocahontas County Buena Vista County Cherokee County Plymouth County Floyd County Cerro Gordo County Hancock County Palo Alto County Clay County O'Brien County Sioux County Allamakee County Winneshiek County Howard County Mitchell County Worth County Winnebago County Kossuth County Emmet County Dickinson County Osceola County Lyon County

Black ash is much less common in the natural landscape than either white or green ash and is seldom used in landscape plantings. It is a medium sized tree (1 to 2 feet in diameter and 40 to 70 feet tall) with opposite, compound leaves with 7 to 13 leaflets. The leaflets are 3 to 5 inches long, with a toothed margin, without a stalk, dark green above and paler green below.

Black Ash TwigsBlack Ash Leaves
Hardiness: zones 3 through 9

Growth Rate:
moderate to fast

Mature Shape:
slightly pyramidal, upright with a rounded crown

Height:
50 to 80 feet

Width:
50 to 70 feet

Site Requirements:
Native to Iowa, ash trees grow best in full sun and moist, well-drained soils. Ash trees are tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions.

Flowering Dates: May - June

Seed Dispersal Dates: July - October

Seed Bearing Age:

Seed Bearing Frequency:

Seed Stratification: Prechill seeds for 3 months at 40F

The branches are large in diameter, stubby, and ash gray in color with prominent rusty gray to black winter buds. The winged samara fruit has a very distinct notch at the end of the wing and is broader than the other ashes. When the tree is young the bark is gray and scaly, and then becomes furrowed with age. 

Black Ash Fruit Black Ash Flowers

Black ash is native to the north east one third of Iowa; it only ranges as far west as the Des Moines River valley. Its normal habitat is on flood plains, terraces, ravines, and on wet upland pockets. Black ash prefers moist to wet soils and will, on some wetter upland sites, form almost pure stands. Black ash is a minor associate of more common species such as silver maple, cottonwood, black walnut, hackberry, elms, sugar maple, red oak and basswood.

It is a shade intolerant species, and normally becomes established in evenaged pockets or stands following some kind of disturbance, such as logging or flooding. Black as is considered a slow growing species; however, on better drained sites, its growth rate is much faster. 

The wood of black ash is somewhat lighter, softer and weaker than green and white ashes. The wood is darker in color, and usually has more grain or figure; it is used in both interior woodworking and cabinets. It splits easily and, because of its toughness, has been used for making baskets. 

The seeds of black ash are used by game birds, songbirds and small animals.

 

Click on a thumbnail image below to view a larger picture.
Black Ash Twig Black Ash Flowers Black Ash Fruit Black Ash Leaves Black Ash Twigs