Flora of Northern Ireland
  • Fraxinus excelsior L. - Ash
Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the images
Fraxinus excelsior
© Alan Hill
Fraxinus excelsior
© David Mitchel
Fraxinus excelsior
© Alan Hill
Fraxinus excelsior
Click on map to open large map in new window
(Map updated: March 2008)
Fraxinus excelsior
© Alan Hill
Fraxinus excelsior
© Alan Hill
 

Ash is one of the commonest trees in Northern Ireland. It is also one of the small number of trees that are native to the Province. It is easily identified by the pinnate leaves and the "keys" or winged fruits which are produced in abundance in late summer. The bark of young branches and young trees is smooth and grey, but in older trees the trunk has a fissured, rough bark.

Ash trees can grow to considerable heights and full-grown trees can be quite majestic, but only if there is a considerable depth of soil, otherwise the upper branches die back and the tree becomes "stag-headed" and mis-shapen.

Ash is a wind-pollinated species and the flowers are consequently small and inconspicuous, produced before the leaves. One of the other characteristics of ash is that it comes into leaf later than any other tree species.

All names: Fraxinus excelsior L.