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Tree Campus: Oregon White Ash

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Oregon White Ash

Fraxinus latifolia (OLEACEAE)



W. North America



"White ash is an important source of browse and cover for livestock and wildlife. The samaras are good forage for the wood duck, northern bobwhite, purple finch, pine grosbeak, fox squirrel, and mice, and many other birds and small mammals. White ash is browsed mostly in the summer by white-tailed deer and cattle. The bark of young trees is occasionally used as food by beaver, porcupine, and rabbits.

White ash's ability to readily form trunk cavities if the top is broken and its large d.b.h. (24 to 48 inches) at maturity make it highly valuable for primary cavity nesters such as red-headed, red-bellied, and pileated woodpeckers. Once the primary nest excavators have opened up the bole of the tree, it is excellent habitat for secondary nesters such as wood ducks, owls, nuthatches, and gray squirrels.

The palatability of white ash browse for deer and cattle varies from poor in the fall and winter to fair in the summer. The samaras are good forage in the fall.

White ash provides hiding and thermal cover for a variety of mammals and birds." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"The juice from the leaves of white ash can be applied topically to mosquito bites for relief of swelling and itching. White ash has a specialized use as a prophylactic measure for snake bite. If one carries the crushed leaves in his/her pockets the odor has been "proved" offensive to rattlesnakes.

Open-grown white ash is useful as a shade and ornamental tree." [1]



"The wood of white ash is economically important due to its strength, hardness, weight, and shock resistance. It is second only to hickory (Carya spp.) for use in the production of tool handles. Nearly all wooden baseball bats are made from white ash. The wood is also used in furniture, antique vehicle parts, railroad cars and ties, canoe paddles, snowshoes, boats, doors, and cabinets.

White ash has been used in Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania in the reclamation of surface coal mines, with 45 percent survival after 30 years. White ash should be planted in mixtures with other hardwoods; interplanting with European alder (Alnus glutimosa) nearly doubled the height and d.b.h. of white ash on a site in eastern Kentucky." [1]



[1] Griffith, Randy Scott. 1991. Fraxinus americana. In: Fire Effects Information System,. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available:

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