LATIN NAMEFraxinus excelsior
About the Ash
Ash is one of the largest and most common deciduous trees in Ireland, and probably the most common farmland tree. Often found in Irish hedgerows and woodlands, the tree is late to show its leaves in the year – hence the tradition that you can plant potatoes until you can no longer see through its foliage – but is also one of the first to lose its greenery in the Autumn.
Ash grows in a range of soils but prefers non-acidic and well-drained sites. Its seeds look like clumps of winged keys and the trees themselves can grow up to 130 feet in height. Its leaves divide into nine to 15 jaggedly toothed, long narrow leaflets. An important native timber, Ash is lightweight, flexible and tough – making it suitable for furniture, hurleys, snooker cues and as a fuel – and is found on the walk up towards Cheetah Hill in Fota.
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