Black Ash - <em>Fraxinus nigra</em> - Zone 2b - Smaller than its cousin the American ash, it will grow to 20 meters and a girth of 50 cm.

Black Ash - Fraxinus nigra - Zone 2b

The black ash likes humid and poorly drained soil. Its shallow roots contribute to the stabilization of soils and can help reestablish regions contaminated by mining byproducts.

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The tree

Depending on its location, the black ash will reach heights of 12 to 20 meters with a girth up to 50 centimeters. The black ash has a lifespan of up to a century and does not tolerate shade. Adapted to poorly drained and humid soils, it naturally grows in peat-bogs, along streams and on alternately flooded lands. It prefers non stagnant flooded grounds since it benefits from a certain amount of aeration. The black ash is the species of deciduous tree most adapted to damp soil. We can often find pure stands of it in places where other deciduous would not be able to grow. Black ash's spreading and shallow root system contributes to the stabilization of the soil. It is one of the first trees to announce autumn by the fall of its blue tinted leaves. It habitually appears at the final stage of forest development. It develops in association with black spruce, red maple, silver maple, speckled alder, yellow birch and eastern cedar.

Its uses

Since black ash wood can easily be fashioned into thin strips by hammering, our ancestors were using it to make baskets and to weave the bottom of chairs. Its flexible wood was also used to build snow shoe frames, barrel hoops and canoes. Black ash could be an important help to decontaminate the soil and water where mining toxicity is present. As for the forest friends, it is good to know that its fruit feed many birds.


Height at maturity20 meters (65 feet)
Spacing8 meters (25 feet)
Hardiness zone2b
SoilPoorly drained
Sun / shadeFull sun
Average fruit weightn/a
Fruit colorn/a
Years to bear fruitn/a
Latin nameFraxinus nigra
Average diameter of fruitn/a
Also known as