|European Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)|
Tourn. ex L.
Ash trees are medium to large trees of the genus Fraxinus of the family Oleaceae (Olive-tree like). The family contains between 45 and 65 species. Some of them are evergreen, but most are deciduous. They grow in most parts of the world. The seeds are commonly known as keys in English. They are a type of fruit known as a samara. Most of the ash species have light-green, oval shaped, pinnate leaves. The central stem of the compound leaf has 9 – 13 leaflets (small leaves) in pairs, with one at the tip. There are no stalks to the side leaflets. The leaflets are pointed and toothed, with hairs on the lower surface. The leaves appear relatively late in spring, and are amongst the first to be shed in autumn.
If they are deciduous they may turn yellow before dropping, sometimes frost may cause them to drop while still green. Ash trees are becoming endangered due to the emerald ash bores.
The buds are black, sooty or velvety in appearance and are sometimes compared to a Bishop’s Mitre in shape.
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