The Ash tree belongs to the Oleaceae Family (olive tree) with about 70 species in the world. Of these, White Ash and Black Ash are the ones used efficiently in the timber industry. Ashwood trees grow all over the world in places as far apart as North America, Europe, North Africa, and Southwest Asia. White Ash has a light white to pale yellow sapwood, and the heartwood leans more towards light to medium brown tones. Due to a greater supply, ash furniture tends to be more readily available and also cheaper, compared to oak. Ash wood has the same high quality standards as oak, but at a more affordable cost.
Ash wood is versatile and can be used in a variety of applications, from tools to sports equipment and even furniture. Black Ash is a medium density wood, similar to Black Walnut, but softer than White Ash. Black Ash can be used to make baskets and other more detailed work due to its layering characteristics.
White ash is often substituted for oak. White Ash wood is similar to Red Oak in appearance and characteristics; when stained it looks like oak as the grain pattern of the two woods is similar. This allows ash wood to be used in different types of furniture, modern contemporary ash furniture designs as well as more traditional designer furniture.
Ash wood is odorless and can therefore be used to make serving utensils.
Easy to handle and durable.
Ash is an “easy-to-use” wood and takes easily with nails, screws, and glue. Although hard, the wood bends well and allows for a smooth finish because stain and paint adhere well to wood.
Ash wood is usually easy to sand and machine. It is also easy to carve.
This is resistant to decay in the heartwood. This makes it durable and requires little maintenance.
Ash Wood has a Janka rating of 1320, making it between red oak and white oak in hardness. This makes it a good choice for flooring in high-traffic areas or areas that are susceptible to rough use, such as kitchens. Ash hardwood floors are durable and shock resistant. Although it is hard, the wood bends well.
Ash wood has the best strength to weight ratio and is therefore used to make baseball bats. Since most players don’t want a bat larger than 32 oz. this becomes significant. It is also used for tool handles and other sporting equipment.