The white ash is also known as American Biltmore or cane ash. This tree is most famous for being the best wood for baseball bats and other sports equipment such as tennis racquets, hockey sticks, polo mallets, and playground structures. The reasons for white ash being the most popular wood for these items is that it is tough and does not break under large amounts of strain. This wood can be bent into different shapes without losing its strength and is quite light. There are numerous other uses for white ash wood including church pews, bowling alley flooring, garden and porch furniture, and cabinets.
The white ash is a resident of most hardwoods forests. It is found in areas where soils are rich and well drained. It is also found in residential areas since it is an attractive, hardy, and relatively disease free tree.
White ash is found north into Canada, south to northern Florida and west to eastern Texas.
White ash is a large tree that reaches 70′ to 80′ in height. This tree has been known to reach 125′ in rare instances. When grown in the open, white ash has round crowns.
The deciduous leaves are compound and oppositely arranged. These leaves are 8″ to 13″ in length with 7 to 12 leaflets per leaf. Leaflets measure 2″ to 4″ long and are usually oval shaped. The tops of the leaves are dark green and shiny where the bottoms of the leaves are pale green with tiny hairs.
The fruit is a light-brown samara, about 1″ long, and often produced in clumps of 10 to 100 samaras.
This light gray-brown bark is characterized by having deep, narrow ridges that form a diamond shaped pattern.
White ash grows in rich, moist, well-drained soils. This tree may also be found in bottomlands near streams and often on low-sloped areas.
The Navajo and Keres Native Americans used this tree as a traditional medicinal plant and a ceremonial item, and twigs are given as gifts to bring good fortune. In traditional medicine, an infusion of the needles is used to treat colds and settle the stomach. This liquid is also used externally for rheumatic pains
White oak is used by coopers to make wine and whiskey barrels as the wood resists leaking. It has also been used in construction, shipbuilding, agricultural implements, and in the interior finishing of houses. The acorns are a valuable wildlife food, notably for turkeys, wood ducks, pheasants, grackles, jays, nuthatches, thrushes, woodpeckers, rabbits, squirrels, and deer.