Other Names and Species:
White ash, a North American tree, is not to be confused with mountain ash (eucalyptus regnans), which is native to Victoria and Tasmania. Mountain ash is the tallest hardwood species in the world, and is only exceeded in height by the redwoods of California. The sapwood of mountain ash has a pale pink-brown color that is somewhat darker than the sample of white ash shown to the left.
The sapwood of white ash is creamy white, while the heartwood ranges from light tan to dark brown. The grain is bold and straight, with an occasional wavy pattern; and in plain-sawn boards it can have a strong contrast. The wood has a lustrous appearance, and the texture is rather coarse.
White ash is elastic and hard, and it has excellent shock-resistance. The wood remains smooth under friction.
Janka Hardness: 1320
White ash is thirty-two percent harder than teak, about two percent harder than red oak, two percent softer than white oak, eight percent softer than hard maple, roughly sevety-two percent as hard as hickory or pecan, and sixty percent as hard as santos mahogany’s ranking of 2200.
White ash has good machining qualities, and it sands satisfactorily. When nailed, it has good holding ability, and it resists splitting. The wood responds well to staining and preservative treatment.
Because ash wood is so hard, strong, and flexible, it is among the most valuable hardwood species. It is best known for baseball bats (e.g., the legendary “Louisville Slugger”). It is also used for fine flooring, furniture, tool handles, and sports equipment.