Botanical Name: Fraxinus nigra
Section: Fraxinus sect. Fraxinus
Species: F. nigra
Synonyms: Fraxinus sambucifolia.
Common Names: Black ash
Preferred Common Name : Black ash
International Common Names: French: Frene noir
Local Common Names:
*Germany: Schwarz- Esche
*Italy: Frassino nero
Fraxinus nigra is native to much of eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, from western Newfoundland west to southeastern Manitoba, and south to Illinois and northern Virginia. It grows on Deep cold swamps, river banks and shores, tolerating some standing water.
Fraxinus nigra is a medium-sized deciduous slow growing tree reaching 15–20 m (exceptionally 26 m) tall with a trunk up to 60 cm (24 inches) diameter, or exceptionally to 160 cm (63 inches). The bark is grey, thick and corky even on young trees, becoming scaly and fissured with age. The winter buds are dark brown to blackish, with a velvety texture. The leaves are opposite, pinnately compound, with 7–13 (most often 9) leaflets; each leaf is 20–45 cm (8–18 in) long, the leaflets 7–16 cm (2 3/4–6 1/4 in) long and 2.5–5 cm (1–2 in) broad, with a finely toothed margin. The leaflets are sessile, directly attached to the rachis without a petiolule. The flowers are produced in spring shortly before the new leaves, in loose panicles; they are inconspicuous with no petals, and are wind-pollinated. The fruit is a samara 2.5–4.5 cm (1–1 3/4 in) long comprising a single seed 2 cm (3/4 in) long with an elongated apical wing 1.5–2 cm (5?8–3/4 in) long and 6–8 mm (1/4–5/16 in) broad.
Prefers a deep loamy soil, even if it is on the heavy side. Most members of this genus are gross feeders and require a rich soil. A plant of swamps in the wild, in Britain this species requires a moist to wet soil. It succeeds when growing in exposed positions and also in alkaline soils. Plants are tolerant of atmospheric pollution. A moderate to slow-growing tree in the wild, it is not a great success in Britain, where it is often damaged by late frosts. This species is closely related to F. mandschurica. Trees can bear hermaphrodite flowers, separate male and female flowers, or flowers of one sex only. Special Features: Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.
The leaves are diaphoretic, diuretic, laxative. They should be gathered in June, well dried and stored in airtight containers. The inner bark has been used as a tonic for the liver and stomach, to check vaginal discharge and to treat painful urination. An infusion of the inner bark has been used as an eye wash for sore eyes.
Logs of wood can be beaten with mauls to separate the growth layers, these layers can then be cut into strips and woven into baskets. A blue dye can be obtained from the bark. Wood – not strong, rather soft, durable, heavy, tough, coarse-grained, easily separated into thin layers. It weighs 39lb per cubic foot. Largely used for making furniture, cabinet making, interior finish and veneer. The wood makes a good fuel, it does not crackle or shoot sparks like many other woods. If the wood is soaked in water and then pounded, it separates easily into thin sheets. These sheets have then been used to make woven baskets, barrel hoops, chair seats etc
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