The Ash tree is often amongst the tallest in the woods, growing to a height of over 35 metres. This is reflected in the tree's Latin name, Fraxinus excelsior, where ‘excelsior’ means higher. They can live for hundreds of years, with this increased if coppiced. The third most common tree in the UK, its timber has been used for everything from tools and hockey sticks to furniture and carriages.
Ash can be identified by its dome-like profile, its higgledy-piggledy branches and its light green or grey bark, often host for lichen. In spring, the ash buds are black or dark brown, with purple, green and yellow flowers. Leaves come in pairs, are pointy and toothed, with a hairy lower surface. Trees are dioecious - separate male and female - and female trees have large bunches of ash keys, or seeds.
In Norse cosmology, an immense Ash tree, known as Yggdrasil, plays a central role connecting the Nine Worlds.