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Silvics of Ash Species in Ohio 4 March 2005 David M. Hix.

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Presentation on theme: "Silvics of Ash Species in Ohio 4 March 2005 David M. Hix."— Presentation transcript:

1 Silvics of Ash Species in Ohio 4 March 2005 David M. Hix

2 Outline Species distributions Life-history traits Ecological roles Wildlife values Economic impacts white ash [Source: ODNR, Division of Forestry]

3 Species of Ash (Fraxinus) Native to Ohio white ashF. americana L. black ashF. nigra Marsh. green ashF. pennsylvanica Marsh. blue ashF. quadrangulata Michx. pumpkin ashF. profunda (Bush) Bush --------------------------------------------------------- Source: Little (1979) [Out of a total of 16 species in the U.S.]

4 Ashes have distinctive fruit and compound leaves.

5 Typically small- to medium-sized trees green ash [Source: V. Kline, Univ. Wis.]


7 SpeciesHeightCircum- ference CrownPointsCounty black ash 1117029188Richland blue ash 9116457269Butler green ash 9618458295Ashland pumpkin ash 1159339218Shelby white ash 11124795382Warren

8 pumpkin ash Source: E. L. Little (1977) Source: T. S. Cooperrider (1995)

9 Pumpkin ash is a large tree of swamps and bottomlands, where it often develops a prominently swollen base. [Source: J. Seiler, Virginia Tech.]

10 Pumpkin ash is considered to be a true-breeding polyploid derivative of a cross between a diploid green ash and a tetraploid white ash (Harmes 1990). [Source: J. Seiler, Virginia Tech.]

11 Source: A. Prasad & L. Iverson, NE For. Exp. Stn.

12 Source: P. Wray, Iowa State University conspicuous four-angled twigs of blue ash

13 Blue ash is commonly found on dry limestone uplands and stream bluffs.

14 Source: A. Prasad & L. Iverson, NE For. Exp. Stn.



17 United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Agriculture Handbook 654 (1990) Silvics of North America Volume 1 – Conifers Volume 2 - Hardwoods

18 Usual age when seed is first produced = 15-30 years white ash [Source: P. Wray, Iowa State Univ.]

19 Flowering and Seed Production Flowering occurs in the late spring (mid-April-late May) Wind pollination only Seed crops are variable; “bumper” crops often about 5 years apart

20 winged seed (samaras) - dispersed by the wind green ash [Source: ODNR, Div. of Forestry] white ash [Source: P. Wray, Iowa State Univ.]

21 Seed Dispersal and Germination Seed fall begins in the early fall Wide dispersal usually assured Cold stratification required to break dormancy

22 White ash seed may remains viable in the forest floor for 3 or more years.

23 white ashgreen ashblack ash grows best on moist, well- drained upland soils well adapted to fertile, moist, well-drained soils along streams and in bottomlands found on muck soils along streams and in poorly drained areas Ecological Roles

24 Root system is typically spreading, except on poorly drained sites black ash [Source: V. Kline, Univ. Wisconsin]

25 Source: FIA National Program, USDA For. Serv. *Ash trees are most common in the elm – ash - cottonwood forest type in northern Ohio.

26 white ashgreen ashblack ash sugar maple beech basswood northern red oak bitternut hickory black cherry boxelder silver maple sycamore cottonwood Ohio buckeye shellbark hickory American elm yellow birch blackgum swamp white oak red maple pin oak Common Associates

27 green ash & other species on a floodplain [Source: V. Kline, Univ. Wis.]

28 white ashgreen ashblack ash intermediate (mid-tolerant) tolerant – intermediate intolerant Understory Tolerance

29 White, green, and black ash are part of opportunistic regeneration guild, which includes other similar species (e.g., boxelder, hackberry, red mulberry).

30 White ash is a gap-phase species: it persists in the understory, then grows rapidly when a gap occurs above it in the overstory.

31 white ashgreen ashblack ash moderately fast-growing; responds quickly to release; moderately long-lived fast-growing; responds well to release; moderately long-lived relatively slow-growing; sprouts vigorously following damage; moderately long-lived Growth and Longevity

32 Typical upland (left) soils and lowland soils, both dominated by various ash species.

33 white ashgreen ashblack ash characteristic of sites with high nutrient availability nutrient- requiring; characteristic of fertile, seasonally flooded areas characteristic of fertile, wet- mesic to wet swamps that have saturated organic soils Nutrient Requirements

34 Wildlife Values Moderate importance: Samaras are eaten by wood duck, turkey, quail, songbirds (e.g., cardinal), squirrels, mice, & other animals. Twigs & foliage are browsed by deer and rodents. [Source: Martin, Zim & Nelson (1961)] [Source: V. Kline, Univ. Wisconsin] [Source: J. Seiler, Virginia Tech.]

35 Over the state as a whole, ash species occupy about 12% of the total forest land (Griffith 1991).

36 Environmental and Economic Impacts There are several billion ash trees growing in Ohio, (Griffith 1991), and one or more of the ash species is present in every county in Ohio. Ohio has approximately 2.1 billion board feet of standing ash timber that is worth almost $1 billion at the sawmill. Ash wood is used for many applications, including flooring, cabinets, tool handles, and baseball bats. Source:

37 Conclusions The five species of ash are important components of the forest ecosystems of Ohio. Numerous ash trees, both native and exotic species, have also been planted extensively throughout the state for reforestation and as street and landscape plantings. The ashes are distinctive, given their differences in life-history traits and the range of types of sites they occupy.

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