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Fraxinus – Wikipedia

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**Botanical Information**:
– Etymology:
– The English name ‘ash’ comes from Old English ‘æsc’.
– The generic name ‘Fraxinus’ originated from a Latin word meaning spear.
– Selected Species:
– Fraxinus anomala Torr. ex S.Watson – singleleaf ash.
– Fraxinus dipetala Hook. & Arn. – California ash.
– Fraxinus quadrangulata Michx. – blue ash.
– Fraxinus angustifolia Vahl – narrow-leaved ash.
– Fraxinus excelsior – European ash.

**Ecological Impact**:
– North American ash trees are crucial food sources for frogs due to lack of tannins.
– Ash trees provide habitat and food for various creatures including birds, mammals, and Lepidoptera species.
– Ash is used as a food plant by some Lepidoptera species.

**Threats and Conservation**:
– North America:
– Emerald ash borer threatens ash trees, causing the death of tens of millions of trees.
– Research is exploring the use of natural predators to manage EAB populations.
– Public caution is advised to slow the spread of the insect pest.
– Europe:
– European ash has been affected by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus since the mid-1990s, leading to ash dieback.

**Uses and Applications**:
– Ash is a dense hardwood used for making bows, tool handles, baseball bats, and musical instruments like guitar bodies.
– It is a commonly used tonewood in electric guitar manufacture, known for its bright tone.
– Ash is also used for making drum shells, furniture like office desks and staircases, and for starting fires and barbecues.

**Mythology and Folklore**:
– In Greek mythology, the Meliae are nymphs associated with the ash tree.
– Norse mythology features Yggdrasil, a vast ash tree sustaining the nine worlds.
– Italian folklore believed that an ash stake could kill vampires.

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