European Ash: Fraxinus excelsior

We supply English Ash, Scottish Ash, Irish Ash, Welsh Ash and European Ash.

Distribution

Ash grows throughout Europe, from Poland and Slovenia to England and France

Description

Ash heartwood varies in colour from pale yellow/cream to a light tan. Occasionally, the heartwood is a dark brown/black, this is known as Olive Ash. Ash timber is strong and the straight, long grain allows the wood to remain flexible.  Weight varies between 510-830 kg/m3, average is 710 kg/m3; specific gravity .71.

Properties

Ash is fairly split resistant and has great steam bending properties. The timber has medium resistance to crushing and shock loads with low stiffness.

Seasoning

The wood dries quickly and needs care to avoid checking and surface splitting, if this happens the timber responds well to re-conditioning kiln treatments. There is medium movement in service.

Working

Ash offers medium resistance to cutting and therefore has a moderate blunting effect on tools, that said it is easy to work with hand and machine tools. It will be necessary to pre-bore for nails. The wood stains well and it is easy to achieve a smooth, even finish.

Durability

Ash will perish and is susceptible to attack from powder post and common furniture beetle. The more common pale heartwood is moderately resistant to preservative treatments, the black heartwood is completely resistant.

Uses

Ash is most famously used in sports equipment, including cricket bats and hockey sticks. It is also used in furniture and cabinet making and looks good as a veneer  in panelling and marquetry.