Properties of Ash Wood

By Fraser Sherman; Updated April 24, 2017
An overhead view of of piece of ash wood and shavings.

Ash trees all belong to the genus Fraxinus. Several species, including the blue, pumpkin and green ash, grow in North America, but the white ash is the favorite for construction and woodworking. The lumber industry has used white ash in flooring, furniture and cabinets, and in sports to make hockey sticks and baseball bats.

The Power of Ash

White ash is good for woodworking, whether you use hand tools or a machine to cut and work it. It responds well to steam bending and copes well with being glued, stained or finished. It's an affordable wood, often priced comparably to oak. White ash wood is strong for its weight, but it has no particular resistance to rot or insects. It grows from Nova Scotia down to Florida and as far west as East Texas.

About the Author

A graduate of Oberlin College, Fraser Sherman began writing in 1981. Since then he's researched and written newspaper and magazine stories on city government, court cases, business, real estate and finance, the uses of new technologies and film history. Sherman has worked for more than a decade as a newspaper reporter, and his magazine articles have been published in "Newsweek," "Air & Space," "Backpacker" and "Boys' Life." Sherman is also the author of three film reference books, with a fourth currently under way.