Identifying Ash in Winter

ASH (Fraxinus excelsior)

KEY IDENTIFYING FEATURES IN WINTER

  1. Black buds in opposite pairs
  2. Very smooth, grey/green bark on young twigs and trees.
  3. Silhouette of a three-pronged "pitch fork" at branch tips.
  4. Ash "keys", hanging down in brown bunches.


SIMILAR SPECIES IN WINTER

It can be easy to mistake the Ash for these other common species...

Sycamore (Acer Pseudoplatanus)

It also has opposite buds and smooth grey bark on twigs. However the buds are green, rather than black.

Oak (Quercus spp.)

Old, fissured bark on mature trees can look similar to ash. However oak's buds are alternate rather than opposite.

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