Fraxinus nigra Marshall
Oleaceae (Olive Family)
USDA Symbol: frni
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
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Samara
Size Notes: Up to about 90 feet tall, often shorter.
Autumn Foliage: yes
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
DistributionUSA: 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 ConditionsWater 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.
PropagationDescription: 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
Web ReferenceWebref 26 - Minnesota Wildflowers: a field guide to the flora of Minnesota (2009)
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Fraxinus nigra in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Fraxinus nigra in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Fraxinus nigra
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-04-19
Research By: TWC Staff