Skip navigation

Weed Identification

white ash



Scientific Name

Fraxinus americana

Other Common Names:

biltmore ash
biltmore white ash
cane ash
smallseed white ash

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Fraxinus biltmoreana
Fraxinus americana var. juglandifolia
Fraxinus americana var. curtissii
Fraxinus americana var. microcarpa
Fraxinus americana var. crassifolia
Fraxinus americana var. biltmoreana


Leaves are deciduous, opposite, pinnately compound, 20-38 cm long, leaflets usually 7(5-9), short-stalked, ovate to ovate-lanceolate or elliptic, acuminate, 6-13 cm long and 3-6 cm wide, sometimes with a few teeth near the tip, dark green and smooth above, whitish below

Identifying Characteristics

Olive family (Oleaceae). Native trees growing to 20-30 m tall, maintaining a central leader (strong apical dominance) in youth with an even distribution of branches, developing a dense, conical or rounded crown at maturity. The trunk is long, straight, and free of branches for most of its length (except when open grown). The bark is thick, dark gray, with a uniform, diamond-shaped ridge and furrow pattern.

Flower Seed Head

Flowers are numerous, very small, green to purplish, in small branched clusters near the branch tips, usually either male (staminate) or female (pistillate), a single tree usually bearing only one sex (the species dioecious)

Seed Fruit

Fruits are samaras 2.5-5 cm long, hanging in clusters, with a narrow wing extending about 1/3-1/4 of the way down the cylindrical body. The common name is in reference to the white color of the wood

Where Found

White ash grows over most of eastern North America, absent only from the outer Atlantic and Gulf coastal plains. It occurs from Nova Scotia west to eastern Minnesota and south to Texas and northern Florida, northward barely into southern Quebec and Ontario. It is cultivated in Hawaii

Growth Habit

woody bush or tree

Thorns or Spines

not present

Dominant Flower Color


Flower Symmetry

not symmetrical

Leaf Hairs

no hairs

Leaf Shape


Leaf Arrangement


Leaf Margin


Leaf Structure


Leaf Stalk

longer than leaf

Stem Hairs

no hairs

Stem Cross Section

round or oval

Milky Sap

not present

Life Cycle



not present

Plant Type