Ash tree

Ash tree

Overview



Fraxinus is a genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s in the olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

 and lilac
Lilac
Syringa is a genus of about 20–25 species of flowering woody plants in the olive family , native to woodland and scrub from southeastern Europe to eastern Asia, and widely and commonly cultivated in temperate areas elsewhere....

 family, Oleaceae
Oleaceae
Oleaceae are a family containing 24 extant genera and around 600 species of mesophytic shrubs, trees and occasionally vines. As shrubs, members of this family may be twine climbers, or scramblers.-Leaves:...

. It contains 45-65 species of usually medium to large tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s, mostly deciduous
Deciduous
Deciduous means "falling off at maturity" or "tending to fall off", and is typically used in reference to trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally, and to the shedding of other plant structures such as petals after flowering or fruit when ripe...

 though a few subtropical
Subtropics
The subtropics are the geographical and climatical zone of the Earth immediately north and south of the tropical zone, which is bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, at latitudes 23.5°N and 23.5°S...

 species are evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

. The tree's common English name, ash, goes back to the Old English æsc, while the generic name originated in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

. Both words also meant "spear
Spear
A spear is a pole weapon consisting of a shaft, usually of wood, with a pointed head.The head may be simply the sharpened end of the shaft itself, as is the case with bamboo spears, or it may be made of a more durable material fastened to the shaft, such as flint, obsidian, iron, steel or...

" in their respective languages. The leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 are opposite (rarely in whorls of three), and mostly pinnately compound
Pinnate
Pinnate is a term used to describe feather-like or multi-divided features arising from both sides of a common axis in plant or animal structures, and comes from the Latin word pinna meaning "feather", "wing", or "fin". A similar term is pectinate, which refers to a comb-like arrangement of parts...

, simple in a few species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

.
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Encyclopedia



Fraxinus is a genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s in the olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

 and lilac
Lilac
Syringa is a genus of about 20–25 species of flowering woody plants in the olive family , native to woodland and scrub from southeastern Europe to eastern Asia, and widely and commonly cultivated in temperate areas elsewhere....

 family, Oleaceae
Oleaceae
Oleaceae are a family containing 24 extant genera and around 600 species of mesophytic shrubs, trees and occasionally vines. As shrubs, members of this family may be twine climbers, or scramblers.-Leaves:...

. It contains 45-65 species of usually medium to large tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s, mostly deciduous
Deciduous
Deciduous means "falling off at maturity" or "tending to fall off", and is typically used in reference to trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally, and to the shedding of other plant structures such as petals after flowering or fruit when ripe...

 though a few subtropical
Subtropics
The subtropics are the geographical and climatical zone of the Earth immediately north and south of the tropical zone, which is bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, at latitudes 23.5°N and 23.5°S...

 species are evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

. The tree's common English name, ash, goes back to the Old English æsc, while the generic name originated in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

. Both words also meant "spear
Spear
A spear is a pole weapon consisting of a shaft, usually of wood, with a pointed head.The head may be simply the sharpened end of the shaft itself, as is the case with bamboo spears, or it may be made of a more durable material fastened to the shaft, such as flint, obsidian, iron, steel or...

" in their respective languages. The leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 are opposite (rarely in whorls of three), and mostly pinnately compound
Pinnate
Pinnate is a term used to describe feather-like or multi-divided features arising from both sides of a common axis in plant or animal structures, and comes from the Latin word pinna meaning "feather", "wing", or "fin". A similar term is pectinate, which refers to a comb-like arrangement of parts...

, simple in a few species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

. The seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s, popularly known as keys or helicopter seeds, are a type of fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 known as a samara
Samara (fruit)
A samara is a type of fruit in which a flattened wing of fibrous, papery tissue develops from the ovary wall. A samara is a simple dry fruit and indehiscent . It is a winged achene...

. Rowan
Rowan
The rowans or mountain-ashes are shrubs or small trees in genus Sorbus of family Rosaceae. They are native throughout the cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with the highest species diversity in the mountains of western China and the Himalaya, where numerous apomictic microspecies...

s or Mountain Ashes are unrelated to true ashes and belong to the Genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 Sorbus
Sorbus
Sorbus is a genus of about 100–200 species of trees and shrubs in the subfamily Maloideae of the Rose family Rosaceae. Species of Sorbus are commonly known as whitebeam, rowan, service tree, and mountain ash...

though the leaves and buds are superficially similar.

Selected species


Eastern North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

  • Fraxinus americana L. – White Ash or Autumn Purple Ash
  • Fraxinus caroliniana
    Fraxinus caroliniana
    Fraxinus caroliniana, commonly known as the Pop ash, Florida ash, Swamp ash, or Water ash, is a species of ash tree native to the southeastern United States. It was originally described by the botanist Philip Miller. It is a small tree about 40 ft...

    Mill. – Carolina Ash
  • Fraxinus nigra
    Fraxinus nigra
    Fraxinus nigra is a species of Fraxinus native to much of eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, from western Newfoundland west to southeastern Manitoba, and south to Illinois and northern Virginia....

    Marshall – Black Ash
  • Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marshall Green Ash
  • Fraxinus profunda
    Fraxinus profunda
    Fraxinus profunda is a species of Fraxinus native to eastern North America, primarily in the United States, with a scattered distribution on the Atlantic coastal plain and interior lowland river valleys from southern Maryland northwest to Indiana, southeast to northern Florida, and southwest to...

    (Bush) Bush – Pumpkin Ash
  • Fraxinus quadrangulata Michx. – Blue Ash


Western and southwestern North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

  • Fraxinus anomala
    Fraxinus anomala
    Fraxinus anomala is a species of ash tree known by the common name single-leaf ash. It is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it grows in a number of habitats including desert scrub and chaparral.-Description:...

    Torr. ex S.Watson – Singleleaf Ash
  • Fraxinus berlandieriana DC. – Mexican Ash
  • Fraxinus cuspidata Torr. – Fragrant Ash
  • Fraxinus dipetala
    Fraxinus dipetala
    Fraxinus dipetala is a species of ash native to southwestern North America in the United States in northwestern Arizona, California, southern Nevada, and Utah, and in Mexico in northern Baja California. It grows at altitudes of 100–1,300 m.It is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 7 m tall,...

    Hook. & Arn. – California Ash or Two-petal Ash
  • Fraxinus dubia
  • Fraxinus gooddingii – Goodding's Ash
  • Fraxinus greggii A.Gray – Gregg's Ash
  • Fraxinus latifolia Benth. – Oregon Ash
  • Fraxinus lowellii – Lowell Ash
  • Fraxinus papillosa Lingelsh. – Chihuahua Ash
  • Fraxinus purpusii
  • Fraxinus rufescens
  • Fraxinus texensis (A.Gray) Sarg. – Texas Ash
  • Fraxinus uhdei (Wenz.) Lingelsh. – Shamel Ash or Tropical Ash
  • Fraxinus velutina
    Fraxinus velutina
    Fraxinus velutina is a species of Fraxinus native to southwestern North America, in the United States from southern California east to Texas, and in Mexico from northern Baja California east to Coahuila and Nuevo León.-Description:Fraxinus velutina is a small deciduous tree growing to 10 m tall,...

    Torr. – Velvet Ash or Arizona Ash


Western Palearctic
Palearctic
The Palearctic or Palaearctic is one of the eight ecozones dividing the Earth's surface.Physically, the Palearctic is the largest ecozone...

 (Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, north Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 and southwest Asia)
  • Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl – Narrow-leafed Ash
    • Fraxinus angustifolia subsp. oxycarpa – Caucasian Ash
  • Fraxinus dimorpha
    Fraxinus dimorpha
    Fraxinus dimorpha is a species of ash tree native to Morocco and Algeria in Northern Africa. An example occurrence of F. dimorpha is the Ourika River Valley, which is also the sole location within the High Atlas Range where the endangered primate Barbary Macaque, Macaca sylvanus is known to...

  • Fraxinus excelsior L. – European Ash
  • Fraxinus holotricha Koehne
  • Fraxinus ornus
    Fraxinus ornus
    Fraxinus ornus is a species of Fraxinus native to southern Europe and southwestern Asia, from Spain and Italy north to Austria and the Czech Republic, and east through the Balkans, Turkey, and western Syria to the Lebanon.It is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 15–25 m tall with a trunk up...

    L. – Manna Ash or Flowering Ash
  • Fraxinus syriaca
  • Fraxinus pallisiae Wilmott – Pallis' Ash


Eastern Palearctic
Palearctic
The Palearctic or Palaearctic is one of the eight ecozones dividing the Earth's surface.Physically, the Palearctic is the largest ecozone...

 (central
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 and east Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

)
  • Fraxinus apertisquamifera
  • Fraxinus baroniana
  • Fraxinus bungeana DC. – Bunge's Ash
  • Fraxinus chinensis Roxb. – Chinese Ash or Korean Ash
  • Fraxinus chiisanensis
  • Fraxinus floribunda Wall. – Himalayan Manna Ash
  • Fraxinus griffithiiC.B.Clarke – Griffith's Ash
  • Fraxinus hubeiensis
  • Fraxinus japonica – Japanese Ash
  • Fraxinus lanuginosa
    Fraxinus lanuginosa
    Fraxinus lanuginosa is a species of ash native to Japan.It is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 10–15 m tall with a trunk up to 50 cm diameter. The bark is smooth, dark grey. The buds are pale pinkish-brown to grey-brown, with a dense covering of short grey hairs...

  • Fraxinus longicuspis
  • Fraxinus malacophylla
  • Fraxinus mandschurica
    Fraxinus mandschurica
    Fraxinus mandschurica is a species of Fraxinus native to northeastern Asia in northern China, Korea, Japan and southeastern Russia.Also Known as 'Chinese Oak'....

    Rupr. – Manchurian Ash
  • Fraxinus mariesii – Maries' Ash
  • Fraxinus micrantha Lingelsh.
  • Fraxinus paxiana Lingelsh.
  • Fraxinus platypoda
  • Fraxinus raibocarpa Regel
  • Fraxinus sieboldiana Blume – Japanese Flowering Ash
  • Fraxinus sogdiana Bge
  • Fraxinus spaethiana Lingelsh. – Späth's Ash
  • Fraxinus trifoliata
  • Fraxinus xanthoxyloides (G.Don) Wall. ex DC. – Afghan Ash

Ecology


Ash is used as a food plant by the larvae
Caterpillar
Caterpillars are the larval form of members of the order Lepidoptera . They are mostly herbivorous in food habit, although some species are insectivorous. Caterpillars are voracious feeders and many of them are considered to be pests in agriculture...

 of some Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera is a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies . It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world, encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies...

 species (butterflies
Butterfly
A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly's life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most species are diurnal. Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured...

 and moth
Moth
A moth is an insect closely related to the butterfly, both being of the order Lepidoptera. Moths form the majority of this order; there are thought to be 150,000 to 250,000 different species of moth , with thousands of species yet to be described...

s) -- see list of Lepidoptera that feed on ashes.

Threats


The emerald ash borer
Emerald ash borer
The emerald ash borer is a green beetle native to Asia.In North America the borer is an invasive species, highly destructive to ash trees in its introduced range. The potential damage of this insect rivals that of Chestnut blight and Dutch Elm Disease...

 (Agrilus planipennis), a wood-boring beetle
Beetle
Coleoptera is an order of insects commonly called beetles. The word "coleoptera" is from the Greek , koleos, "sheath"; and , pteron, "wing", thus "sheathed wing". Coleoptera contains more species than any other order, constituting almost 25% of all known life-forms...

 accidentally introduced to North America from eastern Asia via solid wood packing material in the late 1980's to early 1990's. It has killed tens of millions of trees in 15 states in the United States and adjacent Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

. It threatens some 7 billion ash trees in North America. Research is being conducted to determine if three native asian wasps, who are natural predators of EAB could be used as a biological control for the management of EAB populations in the United States. The public is being cautioned not to transport unfinished wood products, such as firewood, to slow the spread of this insect pest.

Uses


Ash is a hardwood
Hardwood
Hardwood is wood from angiosperm trees . It may also be used for those trees themselves: these are usually broad-leaved; in temperate and boreal latitudes they are mostly deciduous, but in tropics and subtropics mostly evergreen.Hardwood contrasts with softwood...

 and is hard, dense (within 20% of 670 kg/m³ for Fraxinus americana, and higher at 710 kg/m³ for Fraxinus excelsior), tough
Toughness
In materials science and metallurgy, toughness is the ability of a material to absorb energy and plastically deform without fracturing; Material toughness is defined as the amount of energy per volume that a material can absorb before rupturing...

 and very strong
Strength of materials
In materials science, the strength of a material is its ability to withstand an applied stress without failure. The applied stress may be tensile, compressive, or shear. Strength of materials is a subject which deals with loads, deformations and the forces acting on a material. A load applied to a...

 but elastic
Elasticity (physics)
In physics, elasticity is the physical property of a material that returns to its original shape after the stress that made it deform or distort is removed. The relative amount of deformation is called the strain....

, extensively used for making bows
Bow (weapon)
The bow and arrow is a projectile weapon system that predates recorded history and is common to most cultures.-Description:A bow is a flexible arc that shoots aerodynamic projectiles by means of elastic energy. Essentially, the bow is a form of spring powered by a string or cord...

, tool
Tool
A tool is a device that can be used to produce an item or achieve a task, but that is not consumed in the process. Informally the word is also used to describe a procedure or process with a specific purpose. Tools that are used in particular fields or activities may have different designations such...

 handles, baseball bat
Baseball bat
A baseball bat is a smooth wooden or metal club used in the game of baseball to hit the ball after the ball is thrown by the pitcher. It is no more than 2.75 inches in diameter at the thickest part and no more than 42 inches in length. It typically weighs no more than 33 ounces , but it...

s, hurleys
Hurley (stick)
A hurley is a wooden stick used to hit a sliotar in the Irish sport of hurling. It measures between 70 and 100 cm long with a flattened, curved end which provides the striking surface...

 and other uses demanding high strength and resilience
Resilience
Resilience is the property of a material to absorb energy when it is deformed elastically and then, upon unloading to have this energy recovered. In other words, it is the maximum energy per unit volume that can be elastically stored...

.

It is also often used as material
Tonewood
Tonewood generally refers to any wood which may be used in the construction of a musical instrument. Many acoustic properties are often assigned to specific wood species; however the description of these properties is itself a large subject and beyond the scope of this article...

 for electric guitar
Electric guitar
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction to convert vibrations of its metal strings into electric audio signals. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker...

 bodies and, less commonly, for acoustic guitar
Acoustic guitar
An acoustic guitar is a guitar that uses only an acoustic sound board. The air in this cavity resonates with the vibrational modes of the string and at low frequencies, which depend on the size of the box, the chamber acts like a Helmholtz resonator, increasing or decreasing the volume of the sound...

 bodies, known for its bright, cutting tone and sustaining quality. They are also used for making drum shells. Interior joinery
Joiner
A joiner differs from a carpenter in that joiners cut and fit joints in wood that do not use nails. Joiners usually work in a workshop since the formation of various joints generally requires non-portable machinery. A carpenter normally works on site...

 is another common user of both European Ash and White Ash. Ash veneers
Wood veneer
In woodworking, veneer refers to thin slices of wood, usually thinner than 3 mm , that are typically glued onto core panels to produce flat panels such as doors, tops and panels for cabinets, parquet floors and parts of furniture. They are also used in marquetry...

 are extensively used in office furniture. Ash is not used extensively outdoors due to the heartwood having a low durability to ground contact, meaning it will typically perish within five years.

Woodworkers generally like the timber for its great finishing qualities. It also has good machining qualities, and is quite easy to use with nails, screws and glue. Ash was commonly used for the structural members of the bodies of cars made by carriage builders. Early cars had frames which were intended to flex as part of the suspension system in order to simplify construction The Morgan Motor Company of Great Britain still manufacture sports cars with frames made from Ash. It was also widely used by early aviation pioneers for ther aircraft.

It makes excellent firewood
Firewood
Firewood is any wood-like material that is gathered and used for fuel. Generally, firewood is not highly processed and is in some sort of recognizable log or branch form....

 and barbecue
Barbecue
Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

 or smoking
Smoking
Smoking is a practice in which a substance, most commonly tobacco or cannabis, is burned and the smoke is tasted or inhaled. This is primarily practised as a route of administration for recreational drug use, as combustion releases the active substances in drugs such as nicotine and makes them...

 wood. The two most economically important species for wood production are White Ash in eastern North America, and European Ash in Europe. The Green Ash (F. pennsylvanica) is widely planted as a street tree in the United States. The inner bark of the Blue Ash (F. quadrangulata) has been used as a source for a blue dye
Dye
A dye is a colored substance that has an affinity to the substrate to which it is being applied. The dye is generally applied in an aqueous solution, and requires a mordant to improve the fastness of the dye on the fiber....

.

Cultural aspects



In Norse mythology
Norse mythology
Norse mythology, a subset of Germanic mythology, is the overall term for the myths, legends and beliefs about supernatural beings of Norse pagans. It flourished prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, during the Early Middle Ages, and passed into Nordic folklore, with some aspects surviving...

, the World Tree Yggdrasil
Yggdrasil
In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is an immense tree that is central in Norse cosmology. It was said to be the world tree around which the nine worlds existed...

 is commonly held to be an ash tree, and the first man, Ask
Ask and Embla
In Norse mythology, Ask and Embla —male and female respectively—were the first two humans, created by the gods. The pair are attested in both the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson...

, was formed from an ash tree. Elsewhere in Europe, snake
Snake
Snakes are elongate, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales...

s were said to be repelled by ash leaves or a circle drawn by an ash branch. Irish folklore
Irish mythology
The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not entirely survive the conversion to Christianity, but much of it was preserved, shorn of its religious meanings, in medieval Irish literature, which represents the most extensive and best preserved of all the branch and the Historical Cycle. There are...

 claims that shadows from an ash tree would damage crops. In Cheshire
Cheshire
Cheshire is a ceremonial county in North West England. Cheshire's county town is the city of Chester, although its largest town is Warrington. Other major towns include Widnes, Congleton, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Winsford, Northwich, and Wilmslow...

, it was said that ash could be used to cure wart
Wart
A wart is generally a small, rough growth, typically on a human’s hands or feet but often other locations, that can resemble a cauliflower or a solid blister. They are caused by a viral infection, specifically by human papillomavirus 2 and 7. There are as many as 10 varieties of warts, the most...

s or rickets
Rickets
Rickets is a softening of bones in children due to deficiency or impaired metabolism of vitamin D, magnesium , phosphorus or calcium, potentially leading to fractures and deformity. Rickets is among the most frequent childhood diseases in many developing countries...

. In Sussex
Sussex
Sussex , from the Old English Sūþsēaxe , is an historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. It is bounded on the north by Surrey, east by Kent, south by the English Channel, and west by Hampshire, and is divided for local government into West...

 the ash and elm
Elm
Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae. The dozens of species are found in temperate and tropical-montane regions of North America and Eurasia, ranging southward into Indonesia. Elms are components of many kinds of natural forests...

 tree were known as the Widow Maker because the large boughs would often drop without warning.

In Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

, the Meliae
Meliae
In Greek mythology, the Meliae or Meliai were nymphs of the ash tree, whose name they shared. They appeared from the drops of blood spilled when Cronus castrated Uranus, according to Hesiod, Theogony 187. From the same blood sprang the Erinyes, suggesting that the ash-tree nymphs represented the...

 were nymph
Nymph
A nymph in Greek mythology is a female minor nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform. Different from gods, nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing;...

s of the ash, perhaps specifically of the Manna Ash (Fraxinus ornus
Fraxinus ornus
Fraxinus ornus is a species of Fraxinus native to southern Europe and southwestern Asia, from Spain and Italy north to Austria and the Czech Republic, and east through the Balkans, Turkey, and western Syria to the Lebanon.It is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 15–25 m tall with a trunk up...

), as dryad
Dryad
Dryads are tree nymphs in Greek mythology. In Greek drys signifies 'oak,' from an Indo-European root *derew- 'tree' or 'wood'. Thus Dryads are specifically the nymphs of oak trees, though the term has come to be used for all tree nymphs in general...

s were nymphs of the oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

. Many echoes of archaic Hellene rites and myth involve ash trees.

The ash exudes
Plant sap
Sap is a fluid transported in xylem cells or phloem sieve tube elements of a plant. It transports water and nutrients throughout the plant....

 a sugary substance that, it has been suggested, was fermented
Fermentation (food)
Fermentation in food processing typically is the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol...

 to create the Norse Mead of Inspiration
Mead of poetry
In Norse mythology, the Poetic Mead or Mead of Poetry , also known as Mead of Suttungr , is a mythical beverage that whoever "drinks becomes a skald or scholar" to recite any information and solve any question. This myth was reported by Snorri Sturluson...

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