What does ash look like and where does it grow? Ash tree: description, photo

Description of the tree

To know what we are talking about, you need to understand what an ash tree looks like. It is extremely beautiful, first of all, thanks to its leaves, which are so thin and delicate that you can see the sun's rays through them. Light penetrates through the leaf, which is why the tree has such a cute name. According to Dahl's dictionary, the word “ash” comes from “light, clear.”

Ash is a deciduous tree, so it changes its leaves every year. In general, there are about 60 species of this plant in the world, the largest of which is white ash. This is a very powerful tree. Its leaves resemble bird feathers with a symmetrical structure.

The ash tree blooms its flowers even earlier than its leaves. Dark brown or purple flowers are collected in bunches of several pieces. Most often they do not have a corolla and a calyx, but they do have several stamens, which are a distinctive feature of the tree.

It’s better to see once than to hear many times, so it’s worth taking a close look at the photographs, which will show better than any words what ash really is.

Healing properties

The tree has also found its use in the field of medicine . Its healing properties help cope with a number of ailments, such as chronic respiratory diseases, liver pathologies, dropsy and others. It is also actively used for the purpose of wound healing, in the treatment of coughs and as a laxative.

The leaves are enriched with carbohydrates, essential oils, vitamins C, tannins, flavonoids, carotene, saponins and organic acids. The bark contains carbohydrates, alkaloids, coumarins and phenols.

Preparations based on this plant effectively eliminate bleeding , can reduce fever, treat coughs, and have regenerating, antimicrobial, diuretic, astringent, antispasmodic and anthelmintic effects.

Growing environment

Ash loves moist, spacious places with a warm climate. It can often be found near various reservoirs, rivers and other places with high humidity. As for the terrain, of course, you will not find it in places with a sharply continental climate, because it is very thermophilic.

Many ash trees can be seen in Ukraine, Moldova and the Caucasus. It can be found in Crimea, Asia Minor and the European part of Russia. Most often, ash grows in mixed forests; it likes to be adjacent to alder. It is also found in large clearings and clearings where there is a lot of sunlight. No wonder people fell in love with the ash tree. Where it grows is always the sunniest place, and there is water nearby.

Planting and care

In the natural environment, plantations with a predominance of ash trees are important for strengthening slopes and ravines. Their powerful branched root system keeps the soil layers from crumbling and helps protect them from drying out by concentrating moisture. In addition, the decorative qualities and ash wood are valuable.

Resistance to pests, air pollution, ease of maintenance, and beautiful appearance make various types of ash a real boon for landscaping parks and gardens. For landscape design, ordinary, American or fluffy species that do not form dense shade are best suited. There are also special decorative varieties bred specifically for urban conditions.

You can also plant ash trees on your own plot. Germinating seeds for this is not the best method; you will have to wait a very long time for results. You can get beautiful trees faster by planting ready-made seedlings. The main requirements for growth conditions: well-lit sunny places, non-acidified soil.

For planting, prepare holes three times the volume of the root balls of the seedlings. Place drainage made of stone and sand inside, filling the recesses about ¼ of it, to moisten the soil. If there are several seedlings, the distance between the holes should be at least 5 m. After planting, an earthen ball about 15 cm high is compacted near the trunk. To ensure direct growth, it is useful to strengthen the trees with pegs. Around the trunk it is necessary to pour mulch to insulate the roots: wood chips, sawdust, pine needles. Young ash trees especially need insulation before winter in the first 3–4 years of life, since severe frosts can destroy them. Subsequently, mulching is stopped.

If the soil is fertile, ash trees grow quickly - they stretch up to 40 cm per year. The crown also forms rapidly, spreading out in breadth. It is necessary to give it a well-groomed appearance by pruning in early spring, before the onset of active growing season, before flowering begins.

In spring and autumn, trees need to be fed:

  • in April it can be a mixture of manure, urea, ammonium or calcium nitrate, diluted in water;
  • in October, the trees are watered with Kemira Universal fertilizer in a ratio of 20 g per 20 liters of water.

Seedlings only need special watering in dry weather. Ash tree roots are capable of extracting water from great depths. Overmoistening can adversely affect their condition, causing rotting of the shoots. If such signs are noticed, diseased branches should be trimmed, the cuts should be treated with crushed activated carbon and the water regime should be reconsidered.

Pests rarely appear on the bark and shoots of ash trees. If damaged by bark beetles or ash wood, the trees are treated with special insecticides.

The variegated pine beetle is dangerous for ash trees. This is a brightly colored beetle with a wide, oval body shape. Its length is about 3 cm. This pest is widespread in European countries and the western part of Russia. It lives on ash trees growing in shady forests. It can often be found on a middle-aged tree. Sometimes found on young trees. Damage is caused to the tree trunk from the outside or to the bark. It makes tunnels in the wood about 1 cm wide. The emerald borer, ash budworm, woodworm, and cytophymic cancer can also cause harm to ash.

Mythological ash

This tree has been loved by man since ancient times. Many ancient people even believed that their ancestor was the ash tree. A description of this interesting judgment can be found in the poem “Works and Days” by the ancient Greek poet Hesiod. It is on the pages of his work that it is said how the ancient Greek gods found two trees: ash and alder - and created from them, respectively, a man and a woman, endowing them with body, soul, feelings and mind. Even in the paradise of Ancient Greece, ash continues to live and delight those who come to this place with its beauty.

In Lithuania, this tree symbolizes a righteous and pure life. Ash appears in Lithuanian fairy tales, legends and stories. In addition, many peoples treated ash very favorably, loving and honoring this tree. Perhaps only the oak tree surpassed him in power, but not in beauty.

Decorative configurations

Let's take a look at its decorative counterparts. Quite often they are used in landscape design. There are several types:

  1. monumental, its crown has a pyramidal shape;
  2. low, its crown is round, ordinary, of small size, growth rate is slow;
  3. weeping, the branches are long, hanging down to the ground, the crown is dome-shaped, the height can reach about 8 meters.

The wood has a very beautiful texture, its core is dark, but there is a light shade on top. In density and strength it is very similar to oak bark.

Why do we love ash so much?

It is not for nothing that the ash tree has been distinguished among others from time immemorial. There are many reasons for this. The first, very important one, is its beauty and nobility. Ash trees were planted where it was necessary to give a noticeable and extraordinary appearance to a city, village or town. Alleys and parks were planted with ash trees so that later, walking along them, one could enjoy their beauty. This plant has always been deservedly considered and is considered a valuable tree species.

In addition to its external beauty, ash is popular because of its resistance to frost, the negative external effects of poor environmental conditions, exhaust gases, and soil compaction. It is planted along roads.

In addition to the above-mentioned advantages, ash is widely used in folk medicine. Its decoction calms the nervous system, treats dysentery and gout. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties, is indispensable for rheumatism, kidney stones, arthritis and is an excellent diuretic.

In spring, ash, like birch, produces delicious sweet sap that can replace sugar for diabetics.

Ash is also loved for its wood, which is very strong and elastic. Since ancient times, warriors made weapons, bows, spears and clubs from it, which withstood military campaigns, participating in even the most difficult battles. In Rus', dishes, rockers, hoops and even wheels were made from it. Modern athletes also use sports equipment made from ash: excellent quality skis, racing oars and gymnastic bars.

Furniture made from this wood is simply magnificent. This wood is easy to process, polishes well and hardly deforms during use. Its grain pattern is very beautiful; it is not for nothing that this wood species was chosen for furniture in the Kremlin Palace.

Industrial use

In ancient times, wood was used to make tools such as bows, spears, arrows and so on. In modern times, ash is used to create hockey sticks, skis and other sports equipment.

Ash occupies not the least place in the furniture industry due to such qualities as aesthetic fiber patterns and ease of machining . It bends effortlessly when in a steamed state, which makes it possible to use wood to create bent furniture.

Ash fruits

Ash begins to bear fruit at a mature age - 20-30 years. Its fruits are called lionfish and are especially striking in winter, when they are not blocked by leaves. Every year, ash trees are literally strewn with seeds, which bullfinches and other birds, as well as mice, feast on. Even horses are fed lionfish, primarily because they are very nutritious and contain a lot of protein.

Many people also use ash fruits for food. For example, in England they are collected and pickled, thereby making an appetizer for main courses. In the Caucasus, lionfish are also prepared in a similar way. The result is a spicy, tasty seasoning that has valuable properties and contains vitamins. In general, ash is a relative of the olive (the genus Ash belongs to the Olive family), so you shouldn’t be surprised why its fruits are so tasty.

Beware of pests!

Ash most often suffers from Spanish fly damage. These pests completely eat the leaves, which can lead to the death of a young tree. Spraying the tree with calcium arsenate can help here. In some parts of Russia, a common pest is the leaf roller, a plump one that rolls its leaves into a tube.

The leaves are also threatened by the moth, which completely eats them. But one of the most unpleasant dangers is corrosive woodworm, which simultaneously affects all trees by penetrating the buds and petioles of leaves.

The common seed-eater weevil attacks tree fruits. This pest is found inside the seeds. You may notice by seeing small dark dots on the seed. As a rule, they begin to attack in May .

Pests photos

Growing Ash

Ash is a tree species that is very sun-loving, so for planting it you should choose places with good access to sunlight. The soil should not contain a lot of salts and should not be too wet. Also, ash trees do not like to be planted too densely, so you should take care of this in advance by planting the trees at a distance of at least 5 meters from each other. Before planting, the tree should be kept in water and then watered regularly for the first 3 days. If the summer is dry, it is advisable to water regularly, otherwise watering twice a day throughout the summer is sufficient.

In order for the tree to grow beautiful and healthy, it is advisable to feed it with various fertilizers and timely treat it against harmful insects. If you follow all these rules, it will grow powerful and tall.

Where does it grow

Ash can be found almost everywhere . It grows in forests, parks, along railways and highways. The tree is very common and prefers moist soil. 30 meters in size , but in the south the tree can grow up to 60 m. In Russia, it is most common in the Central Black Earth region, the Volga region and the Tver region.

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