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Ash tree

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Ash tree
European Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Fraxinus
Tourn. ex L.
An Ash tree in London

Ash trees are medium to large trees of the genus fraxinus of the family Oleaceae (Olive-tree like). The family contains between 45 and 65 species. Some of them are evergreen, but most are deciduous. They grow in most parts of the world. The seeds are commonly known as keys in English. They are a type of fruit known as a samara. Most of the ash species have light-green, oval shaped, pinnate leaves. If they are deciduous they may turn yellow before dropping, sometimes frost may cause them to drop while still green. Ash trees are becoming endangered due to the emerald ash bores.

Ash wood is used to make various tools, handles, baseball and softball bats and bows. It also makes very good firewood. Ash trees are also perfect material for old fashion shafts for bow and arrows.

In Norse Mythology, the World tree Yggdrasil is commonly thought to be an ash tree. The first man, Askr, was formed from an ash. The first woman was made from an alder.