European Ash

European Ash

Fraxinus excelsior
Other Name: White Esh

General description

Ash is found in temperate areas of Europe. The trees grow to 30 m in height with diameters ranging from 40 - 100 cm.

Wood description

The colour is white and turns to yellow when exposed to light. Heartwood is not demarcated from sapwood. In the heart of logs there are often brown areas, so called Brown Ash. The wood has a medium to coarse texture.
Ash is a ring-porous timber, so the annual rings are clearly visible, in contrast to rays.
The wood is hard and heavy with very good strength properties.
Machining is well, gluing is good, also nailing and screwing.
Ash has good properties for bending in processing of bent furniture.

Common uses

European Ash is mainly used for furniture, veneers, flooring and stairs.

Physical characteristics
Density (at 12 % moisture content) 702 kg⁄m3
Total longitudinal shrinkage 0.2 %
Total radial shrinkage 5.0 %
Total tangential shrinkage 8.0 %
Equilibrium moisture content  
(20° C⁄ 37 % rel. humidity) 7.3 %
(20° C⁄ 83 % rel. humidity) 16.5 %
Mechanical characteristics
Modulus of elasticity under bending 13400 N⁄mm2
Modulus of rupture under bending 120 N⁄mm2
Tension strength 165 N⁄mm2
Compression strength 52 N⁄mm2
Brinell hardness perpendicular to the fibres 38 N⁄mm2
Janka Hardness 4.4 kN
Nail withdrawal strength in N per mm depth and mm diameter 16 N⁄mm2
Natural durability and treatability (according to en 350-2)
Fungi Class 5 not durable
Dry wood borers susceptible
Termites Class S susceptible
Treatability 2 – moderately permeable

Natural durability is based on mature heartwood. Sapwood must always be considered as non durable against wood destroying agents.