(Fraxinus excelsior)

Ash is one of the most widely distributed trees throughout the British Isles, and it is a characteristic tree of ancient woodlands.

In the open it forms a very broad crown, whereas in woodland it forms a very tall upright tree with a tall straight trunk. The tree can live up to two hundred years or more depending on the soil and location.

The black buds of the ash are very distinctive. The flowers appear in early spring long before the leaves, which are made up of four pairs of leaflets, and appear in May.

Ash was used extensively in the past by the Anglo-Saxons for making spears and shields, and more recently for farm implements including the spokes of wheels, and cart frames.

Ash was also used in construction of spar webs in the wing of the famous de Havilland Mosquito.

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