An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

White Ash Winter I.D.

2-19 white ash leaf scar 007White ash, Fraxinus americana, is relatively easy to identify in winter, between its stout, opposite branches and buds and the corky ridges that form diamond shapes on its bark. There are several species of ashes, however, and one feature that distinguishes White Ash is the shape of its leaf scars (located beneath leaf buds) on well-developed branches. Each leaf scar (left by a leaf that fell off the tree) is round at the bottom and notched at the top, resembling the letter “C” on its side. (No other ash has c-shaped leaf scars.) It is often concave along the upper edge and the lateral buds are located within the curved portion of the leaf scar.

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7 responses

  1. Ane Kellam

    I didn’t know there were any other ashes in our area to get White Ash confused with. Are there others ?

    February 19, 2015 at 8:45 am

    • Yes, Ane, there are two other ashes, Black and Green, that you can find in the Northeast. European has been cultivated in a very few spots.

      February 19, 2015 at 9:56 am

  2. Kathie Fiveash

    If only we could all wear our scars with a smile!

    February 19, 2015 at 9:53 am

    • Louise

      We can wear our scars with a smile if the scar is the foundation for something new, I guess! Thanks for the lesson, Kathie!

      February 20, 2015 at 10:49 am

  3. Michelle Payne

    Is this a plant that may fall victim to the Emerald Ash Bore? Are all ashes suseptible?

    February 19, 2015 at 1:05 pm

  4. Louise

    I am re-reading Eric Sloane’s books on early America and I am so astounded at the knowledge of nature (particularly re: the forest in New England) our ancestors used. Knowing trees was essential to our lives. Sadly, it seems many of us have abandoned that knowledge to a large degree. Thanks for bringing it back a bit!

    February 20, 2015 at 10:55 am

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