Ash, European

Latin name: Fraxinus excelsior


Wood Type:

Hardwood

Durability:

Not durable

Treatability:

Moderately easy

Moisture Movement:

Medium

Density (mean, Kg/m³):

710 (Density can vary by 20% or more)

Texture:

Medium to coarse

Availability:

Readily available at timber merchant

Price:

Medium

Chemical Properties:

Selected stock may be tough and suitable for bending

Use(s):

Joinery - Interior, Furniture, Flooring

Notes on terms used navigation-arrow

Introduction

European ash is typically straight grained, and this, combined with its toughness and flexibility, makes it one of the world's most valuable timbers for such uses as sports goods and striking tool handles. It is rather coarse textured, and varies somewhat in weight according to the growth conditions, from 528 kg/m³ to 816 kg/m³ when dried, but averaging 710 kg/m³.

 

Environmental

Not listed in CITES. Believed available from well-managed sources. Check certification status with suppliers.

 

Distribution

Europe including the British Isles, north Africa and western Asia, growing best on loamy soils where both the soil and the atmosphere is moist and cool.

 

The tree

A tall, graceful tree, reaching a height of 30m to 42m on good sites, with a clear bole averaging 9m in length, and occasionally more. The diameter varies from 0.5m to 1.5m.

 

The timber

There is usually no distinction in colour between sapwood and heartwood, freshly cut wood being whitish to pale brown with a pink cast, turning to a slightly brownish-white after drying. In some logs, an irregular dark brown or black heartwood is found, but this is not necessarily a defect, as the timber is normally quite sound. Logs containing dark heart streaks are often enhanced in value because of the decorative nature of the wood which is known as olive ash.

 

Drying

Dries at a fairly rapid rate without excessive surface checking and splitting, but under the influence of severe temperatures, there is a tendency to distort and for end splitting to occur. Distorted stock responds well to reconditioning kiln treatment.

 

Strength

Similar to oak in general strength properties, but tougher and more resistant to splitting.

 

Working qualities

Good - Although tough, ash works and machines quite well, and finishes to a reasonably smooth finish. It can be glued, stained, and polished.

Suppliers

Border Hardwood Ltdnavigation-arrow

Wem

Elaborados y Fabricados G?miz, S.A. navigation-arrow

Sta. Cruz De Campezo (Álava)

Enfield Speciality Doorsnavigation-arrow

Enfield

English Woodlands Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Midhurst

Fleming Buildbasenavigation-arrow

Aberdeen

Gilmour & Aitken Limitednavigation-arrow

Alexandria

iWood Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Stafford

James Latham plcnavigation-arrow

Hemel Hempstead

Morgan Timbernavigation-arrow

Rochester

NHG Timber Limitednavigation-arrow

Croydon

Simoninnavigation-arrow

Montlebon

Stourhead (Western) Estatenavigation-arrow

Wiltshire

Timberdeal Ltdnavigation-arrow

Plumpton Green

Timbmet Ltdnavigation-arrow

Oxford

Vastern Timbernavigation-arrow

Swindon

Vincent Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Birmingham

W. L. West & Sons Ltdnavigation-arrow

Petworth

Suppliers

W. L. West & Sons Ltdnavigation-arrow

Petworth

Vincent Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Birmingham

Vastern Timbernavigation-arrow

Swindon

Timbmet Ltdnavigation-arrow

Oxford

Timberdeal Ltdnavigation-arrow

Plumpton Green

Stourhead (Western) Estatenavigation-arrow

Wiltshire

Simoninnavigation-arrow

Montlebon

NHG Timber Limitednavigation-arrow

Croydon

Morgan Timbernavigation-arrow

Rochester

James Latham plcnavigation-arrow

Hemel Hempstead

iWood Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Stafford

Gilmour & Aitken Limitednavigation-arrow

Alexandria

Fleming Buildbasenavigation-arrow

Aberdeen

English Woodlands Timber Ltdnavigation-arrow

Midhurst

Enfield Speciality Doorsnavigation-arrow

Enfield

Elaborados y Fabricados G?miz, S.A. navigation-arrow

Sta. Cruz De Campezo (Álava)

Border Hardwood Ltdnavigation-arrow

Wem