White ash trees get their name from the lovely pale undersides of their leaves. Pyramid shaped as young trees, their foliage rounds out over time. They grow to reach between 50 and 80 feet in height and 40 to 50 feet in width. In spring, the White ash produces purple flowers that give way to samaras (winged seed pods) which fly to the ground during the summer, when their wide, two-toned leaves cast plentiful shade around the reflecting pool.
White ashes signal the coming autumn before most other trees in the park, turning bright shades of yellow. As the days grow colder several bird species flock to the park to eat the tree’s fallen seeds, including Finches and Cardinals. In the winter months, their purple buds and wrinkled gray bark make an attractive highlight amidst the snow-covered park.
The White ash’s wood is prized for being strong and lightweight. And if you have ever held an electric guitar, baseball bat, or hockey stick then you’ve held white ash. Unfortunately in recent decades, the white ash has come under attack by an invasive pest, the Emerald Ash Borer. These insects have led the White ash to become critically endangered throughout the United States.