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Video:How to Identify a White Ash Tree

with Jacob Taxis

White ash trees are beautiful, North American trees notable for their compound leaf structure. This video from About.com will show you how to identify a white ash tree.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Identify a White Ash Tree

Hi, I'm Jacob Taxis for About.com. In this video, you will learn how to identify a white ash tree.

Adult white ash, also known as American ash, are fairly easy to identify.

The two major things you want to keep in mind when identifying a white ash tree are (1) its opposite branching and (2) its compound leaf structure.

Opposite Branching on White Ash Trees

Opposite branching simply means that each branch grows opposite of another branch. There are a few different kinds of trees that have opposite branching. You can remember the most common with the acronym "MAD Horse." "M" stands for Maple, "A" stands for Ash, "D" stands for Dogwood, and "Horse" represents Horsechestnut.

White Ash Tree Leaves

A compound leaf is technically one leaf made up of leaflets that grow out of one bud. This bud is found at the base of the stem. A single leaf, on the other hand, is one leaf that has a bud at the base of the stem.

An easy way to recognize a white ash is to take a close look at its compound leaf. The white ash leaf is made up of 7 leaflets. There are 3 on each side of the stem, one at the top of the stem, and one bud at the bottom of the stem.

The underside of each white ash leaflet is white or gray-green in color. This is where the tree gets its name. Likewise, green ash gets its name from the solid green color found on both sides of its leaves.

White Ash Looks Like Green Ash

Without close inspection, it's easy to mistake white ash for green ash. In addition to the color difference, keep in mind that white ash leaves are larger than those of the green ash. The same goes for height - the white ash is usually much taller.

White ash also present leaf scars in the shape of a "U," while the green ash tends to leave scars in the shape of a "D." Also, green ash trees have leafstalks that are narrowly winged in shape, where as white ash do not.

Another difference is found in the bark. The tree bark on Green Ash tends to be flaky, while white ash bark is usually quite solid.

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