Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Fraxinus nigra (Black ash)
Makin, Julie

Fraxinus nigra

Fraxinus nigra Marshall

Black Ash

Oleaceae (Olive Family)


USDA Symbol: frni

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Black Ash is a small-canopied, medium-sized tree, usually 40-50 ft. tall. Branches reach upward instead of outward like white ash. Leaves are pinnately compound with leaflets that are finely serrated. Bark is scaly and flaky rather tham ridged and furrowed. Insignificant fall color.

The northernmost native ash, Black Ash takes its name from the dark brown heartwood. Baskets, barrel hoops, and woven chair bottoms are made from thin rough strips of split wood, giving rise to the other names.


From the Image Gallery

9 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Samara
Size Notes: Up to about 90 feet tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Green
Autumn Foliage: yes
Fruit: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


USA: CT , DC , DE , IA , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Nf. to Man., s. to VA, KY & IA
Native Habitat: Wet woods; stream banks; lake margins

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Peat soils, also sandy loams.
Conditions Comments: Black ash is one of the hardiest of all hardwoods. Fast-growing and long-lived. Susceptible, like many ashes, to a wide variety of disease and insect pests; these usually are not a problem to vigorously growing trees.


Attracts: Birds


Description: Seeds may be sown outdoors after collection or stored and stratified then sown in spring.
Seed Treatment: Stratify in moist sand or perlite for 30-60 days at 41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Web Reference

Webref 26 - Minnesota Wildflowers: a field guide to the flora of Minnesota (2009)
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Fraxinus nigra in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Fraxinus nigra in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Fraxinus nigra


Record Modified: 2023-04-19
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back