and bring prosperity. If it’s a hardwood, that means it came from a dicot tree-- Emerald Ash Borer, a wood-boring pest, slipped into the country a few years ago. Those who Each finish will require different care. The name ash comes from the word “spear,” which could be a reference to its spear-shaped leaves or the fact that ancient peoples used the tree to make weaponry. refers to it as “The World Tree” and claims the first man came from ash and burning ash as a Yule log assures a prosperous year ahead. ash. typically a broad-leafed variety of tree. It’s crafted with recycled plastic lumber (RPL), a dense plastic that looks like real wood but withstands the elements and requires minimal care. shock-resistant wood have made it a favorite for baseball bats, tool handles, and restaurant furniture. And in its springtime rush to grow, the tree puts on a layer of large-pored earlywood. Now more than ever, it’s important to select local products. and quality mean that you can not only feel good about your purchase, but that it will remain beautiful for years. At Vermont Woods Studios, we have always taken great care to work with craftsmen who choose sustainably-harvested wood and who get it right here in Vermont as much as possible. found These days, ash remains common in furniture, cabinets, flooring, tools, weapons, sports equipment, and more. White ash wood, the one most commonly used in furniture, measures 1320 on the Janka scale. woods are a bit harder to find than the straight-grained variety. The name ash comes from the word spear, which could be a reference to its spear-shaped leaves or the fact that ancient peoples used the tree to make weaponry. United States, we typically display this number as lbf (pounds of force) or Janka, though you’ll see different measurements used in other parts of the world. For more related content, subscribe to our newsletter! Generally speaking, lighter varieties will become richer, while darker woods will lighten some. This is a useful property for basket makers. Norse mythology refers to it as The World Tree and claims the first man came from ash and burning ash as a Yule log assures a prosperous year ahead. Only purchase ash furniture from a reputable company that is dedicated to the preservation of our forests. guarantee. Black Ash is the tree of choice for pounding of traditional Native American basketry. Black Ash has a rich history in the Great North Woods. best to avoid commercial cleaners and polishes, which may damage the finish or make it sticky. sustainably-harvested, and won’t Spalted ash, in particular, is quite popular with artisan furniture designers, though Early cultures used it for everything—from weapons to wagons—and even believed it had spiritual properties or the ability to heal So the black ash has few close neighbors. The amount of force required to do this is then measured. reduced because there’s minimal transportation. Although never a cherished target of lumbermen because of its comparatively small size, the black ash rates as unique because its dark-brown heartwood occupies nearly the entire girth of its trunk, leaving little room for lighter-colored sapwood. Northwoods basketmakers know black ash (Fraxinus nigra) well. The endgrain of the wood is pounded with a mallet—collapsing the weaker earlywood, and liberating the latewood to be peeled off in strips. Northwoods basketmakers know black ash (Fraxinus nigra) well. It machines well, accepts stain and dye really well (if that is important to you) and is always available. Ash trees are now considered “critically endangered,” meaning they’re at high risk of becoming extinct in the wild. are concerned about the environment will want to take every precaution to ensure that their piece was in woodworking include pine, fir, and cedar. In addition to this, you’ll want to make sure that any ash furniture you purchase is built well. Native to the northern wetlands, the black ash shares its soggy habitat with other water-loving trees, such as tamarack and black spruce. The Emerald Ash Borer isn’t native to the United States. guarantee, Ash with the That said, many agencies have come together to eradicate the pest, and trees can go on to The long strips are trimmed, cleaned, and used in basket weaving. It’s one of the most durable varieties and has an extensive history in American furniture making. This puts it right below maple and white oak, which sit at 1,450 Janka and 1,360 Janka, respectively. Ash is a hardwood, along with cherry, oak, walnut, and maple. If grow… This is referred to as “figured wood.” For this reason, you’ll sometimes see curly or birdseye grain, among others. Indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlandsalso make bark baskets from black ash, traditionally used for be… Ash Wood: Black, White, and Everything in Between Among the most common species of ash that are seen commercially, some basic divisions can be made; the first is between White Ash (Fraxinus americana) and Black Ash (Fraxinus nigra). Read our Covid page for updates. contribute to the loss of ash trees in their natural habits. It is durable, lightweight, aesthetically pleasing, and absorbs wood stains well. in The foliage of ash trees is easily identifiable, with green ash (top) and black ash (bottom) is about the same (photo courtesy of Keith Kanoti, Maine Forest Service, Bugwood.org) Personally, I find ash to be a wonderful lumber to work with. Minnesota has more Ash trees than any other state, with nearly one million acres of Black Ash, mostly in the central and northeastern part of the state, where lowland forest types are abundant.

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