Oleaceae / Fraxinus excelsior – Ash, European ash, common ash

Ash trees are part of the olive family. Yet the only thing it has in common is opposite branching. The most eye-catching part of ash trees are their leaves. This twig only has 12 leaves, yet each of them consists of up to 11 leaflets. In compound leaves like these, the space in between veins isn’t filled. Just imagine how huge the leaf would be if it were.


As is visible on this twig, the buds are already well formed. They have a peculiar look to them, being quite large and almost black. When the leaves are gone, they make the tree easily recognisable. Not only the buds are big, the twig itself is quite thick.

When looking at the twig, the ash seems very structural. Two opposing leaves at every node, each node rotates 90 degrees. The grand scheme however is very irregular. Just as quick and vigorous the ash grows new twigs, most of them don’t last. Resulting in quite an airy tree.

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