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Ash (Fraxinus)

  • Opposite, pinnately compound leaves
  • Single-winged fruit (samara), shaped like a canoe
  • Bark is crisscrossed with ridges and resembles a woven net


Ashes are easy to identify because they are one of the few groups of trees whose leaves are both opposite and pinnately compound. If that is not enough, check their fruit. They have dry, winged seeds that look like canoes. Some say it is because ashes grow near water and their seeds are designed for floating.

About 70 species of ash occur in the world, with 16 native to North America. Only one is native to this state, Oregon ash, although others are planted ornamentally, especially for their bright red fall foliage.

For more information on the ashes native to the Pacific Northwest, go to the species page or see "Trees to Know in Oregon".

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