The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Ash trees, Oleaseae

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Nat. Ord. (Natural Order) Oleace�. Lin. Syst. (Linnean System) (Linnean System) Polygamia, Di�cia. The name of the ash, one of the finest and most useful of forest trees, is probably derived from the Celtic asc, a pike�as its wood was formerly in common use for spears and other weapons. Homer informs us that Achilles was slain with an ashen spear. In modern times the wood is in universal use for the various implements of husbandry, for the different purposes of the wheelwright and carriage-maker, and in short for all purposes where great strength and elasticity are required; for in these qualities the ash is second to no tree in the forest, the hickory alone excepted. The ash is a large and lofty tree, growing, when surrounded by other trees, sixty or seventy feet high, and three or more in diameter. When exposed on all sides it forms a beautiful, round, compact head of loose, pinnated, light green foliage, and is one of the most vigorous growers among the hard-wooded trees. The American species of ash are found in the greatest luxuriance and beauty on the banks and margins of rivers where the soil is partially dry, yet where the roots can easily penetrate down to the moisture. The European ash is remarkable for its hardy nature, being often found in great vigor on steep rocky hills, and amid crevices where most other trees flourish badly. Southey alludes to this in the following lines:� "Grey as the stone to which it clung, half root, Half trunk, the young ash rises from the rock."