American ash (Fraxinus spp)

Other names: Northern ash, Southern ash


Throughout the Eastern USA.

General description

American ash is similar in appearance to European ash. The sapwood is light colored to nearly white and the heartwood varies from greyish brown to light brown, to pale yellow streaked with brown. The wood is generally straight grained with a coarse uniform texture. The degree and availability of light colored sapwood, and other properties will vary according to the growing regions.

Working properties

Ash machines well, is good in nailing, screwing and gluing, and can be stained and polished to a very good finish. It dries fairly easily with minimal degrade, and there is little movement in performance.

Ash has very good overall strength properties relative to its weight. It has excellent shock resistance and is good for steam bending.Physical properties

(Values based on Fraxinus americana)

Lumber Packs

ASH FAS White Rough

ASH FAS White Rough

ASH 1C White Rough

ASH 1C White Rough

ASH 2C Rough

ASH 2C Rough


Non-resistant to heartwood decay. The sapwood is liable to attack by powder post and the common furniture beetle. The heartwood is moderately resistant to preservative treatment, and the sapwood is permeable.


USA: Readily available.
Export: Good availability as lumber and veneer. The lumber is often classified according to growing regions and marketed as Northern ash and Southern ash. It is sometimes separated for color and sold as white ash (sapwood) or brown ash (heartwood). Fraxinus nigra, black ash, may also be sold as brown ash.

Main uses

Furniture, flooring, doors, architectural interiors, high-class joinery and moulding, kitchen cabinets, paneling, tool handles, sports goods and turning.

© 2002 American Hardwood Export Council