Ash, deciduous tree native to Europe. An ash tree can grow over forty meters tall and be two to three centuries old.

Also known as:
Common ash
European ash

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recognize common ash
Ash, adult, photo: JoJan - CC BY-SA 3.0

Leaf and bark are toxic to ruminants (cows, horses, goats, etc.).

Ash(Fraxinus excelsior), deciduous tree in the olive family (Oleaceae), native to Europe. An ash tree can grow over forty meters tall and reach two to three centuries of age. Ash trees lose their leaves in the fall. Ash fruits have “helicopter seeds” which helps with wind dispersal.
Ash trees can be pollarded just like willows.
Since the end of the last century, ash trees have been affected by a fungus that causes Ash dieback. Meanwhile, this disease is common and many iconic ash trees (avenues, parks) are affected.
In addition to the “common” ash (Fraxinus excelsior), there are the Narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia) and the Black ash (Fraxinus nigra).


Holes in leaves scattered throughout the shrub: the larvae (caterpillars) of the privet hawk moth (Sphinx ligustri).

Fungi & diseases

Recognize ash dieback
Ashdieback on branch, photo: Fera – Fera – OGL v1.0

Dark discoloration of the bark at the beginning of the branches and leaves. Beneath the bark, the wood is dead. Branches die – starting at the take end; eventually the entire tree dies: ash dieback.


Recognize Bark nodules on the trunk
Bark nodules, photo: Sjoerd van der Schuit

Lumps form on the trunk: bark nodules.