The ash is a heavy, undifferentiated wood, slightly yellowish in color. Sometimes the inner part of the stems has a dark color (false heartwood), this anomalous coloration is considered a defect, but in some cases it is appreciated because the appearance of the wood is similar to that of the Olive tree (the Ash in this case is commercially known as “Olive Ash”).

The veins are very evident because the spring vases are clearly visible to the naked eye: the texture is coarse and the grain is generally straight, even if there are trunks with wavy fibers.

Technological properties

The ash is characterized by a semi-hard wood, with medium-sized shrinkage, very resistant to bending and moderately rigid. It is easy to work, it is often also used for blanking. A typical use is in massive steam-curved pieces.

It is not naturally a fungus resistent wood and is not resistant to insect attacks, but can be impregnated with preservatives.


Ash wood is particularly used for products that have to withstand mechanical stress and in particular flexing and bending. At one time it was used mainly for the production of skis, sleds, tennis rackets, clubs, oars, handles, car body pieces.

Currently is used mainly for furniture, even valuable, furnishings and crafts, floors, stairs and mortuary bonnets.

Characteristic is the use of the “Olive Ash” for the realization of the skirting boards to accompany the Olive flooring.

Typical defects

Internal tensions, often the central area of the trunk has an olivaceous color, nodes to the eye of Partridge.

Technical details of the ash wood

Family European Hardwood Family
Scientific name Fraxinus excelsior
Other names Frassino maggiore (I); Frenes (F); Asch (GB), Esche (D); Fresno (E)
Geographical origin Mixed hilly and mountainous deciduous forests of central and southern Europe. Frequent also in ornamental trees
Specific weight Medium Fresh 960 kg/m3
Dried 720 kg/m3
Sawing Easy
Drying Easy, with some risk of deformation
Planing Easy
Glueing Easy
Nailing and screwing Better with preventive site preparation

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