Ash (American White)
American White Ash is a species of deciduous hardwood tree, belonging to the Oleaceae family. It is native to North America, and is typically found in wetter areas. Its heartwood is almost white in color, with a distinct contrast between the heartwood and the sapwood. The grain of the wood is normally straight and coarse. American White Ash is widely used in both interior and exterior applications, such as furniture, stairs, doors, skirting boards, architrave, cover fillets, and mouldings. This wood is highly valued for its attractive grain and color, making it a popular choice for many projects.
American Ash is non-durable. Vulnerable to attack from the common furniture and powder-post beetles. It takes preservative treatment well.
The drying and seasoning of Ash (American White) is dependant on a number of factors; the speed in which it is processed after felling and logging, the method of drying and the specific kilns or location (if air dried). Generally, the care taken by those processing the wood will have an impact on its drying and seasoning. An overview of the seasoning of; Ash (American White) - Dries quickly with little impact on the grade and quality of the wood, but grey-brown stains and surface checks can occur. Please note that all wood is liable to move when in service plus there can be dimensional change. The extent of this will depend on; the stability of the species itself, the conditions it is exposed to, the coating, decoration and protection. You will find more information about the suitability of this wood, for any proposed application, by using our interactive system and the filters shown.
Bending properties normally very good. The wood is elastic, tough, strong (relative to its weight) and has good stiffness and hardness. Ash works well with machines and hand tools but has a tolerable blunting effect. The harder species need pre-drilling for nailing and screwing. Ash polishes, stains, oils and glues well.
Quality furniture, interior joinery, kitchens. Sports equipment such as oars, paddles, bats and cues. Handles for workshop and garden tools. Plus decorative veneers.
The ash tree and its wood help instil peace of mind and good health. It contains the qualities of reliability, faithfulness and loyalty.
Possible Health Risks:
Dust may slightly affect breathing
Wood Worker's Thoughts:
Beautiful light coloured, grainy wood. It is hard with little 'give' and can be 'springy' due to the long grain and tension in the wood. Finishes very well.
Has been used in boat building and in motorcar manufacture (such as Morris Minors) although as not classed as durable treatment is required. We have been involved in the manufacture and supply of timber components for classic car repairs.
Commonly asked questions about American White Ash Wood
Is Ash a hardwood or a softwood? Ash is a hardwood. It is the same for; is American White Ash hardwood or softwood? - American White Ash is a hardwood.
Most groups/families of species share the same characteristics but this normally relates to their life as plants. Individual species do not always share the same characteristics as their relatives, in terms of the wood. Many factors influence how we use the wood and what we use it for, including where it grows, how it is forested, how it seasons/dries, etc. The answers to the following common questions, therefore relate to this particular species/wood and not the Ash family as a whole. Even more specific – our answers relate to the wood (as we know it) in its form as a useable resource.
What colour is American White Ash? American White Ash can be described as brown, light brown, yellow/brown
Is American White Ash good for outdoor use? or is American White Ash good for exterior use? American White Ash is most suited for interior/interior use. American White Ash can be used as an exterior/external timber (without treatment).
Whether the wood is naturally durable or not we would still recommend that it is decorated and/or coated with a suitable product to provide protection and/or maintain its appearance. This even applies when using the wood internally as, even subtle, changes in temperature or humidity will affect the wood. This will depend on the application/purpose of the wood and the user’s desired appearance. We also recommend that a recoating, care and maintenance programme is adhered to, for the life of an exterior wood. Wood cannot rot if it is kept dry – coatings and decoration can provide this protection. All of that said there are many durable timbers that are often left to weather naturally and will last for many years untreated/coated – movement and visual changes will occur but this is sometimes the desired effect. All wood is hygroscopic (it 'wants' to be in tune with its environment) it will therefore take on water from moisture in the air (or when directly exposed to or submerged in water) and ‘release it’ when dry or exposed to heat. This, inevitably, results in movement and dimensional change. For more about moisture in wood please click here - Moisture in wood