In Scandinavian mythology Ash was the ‘tree of life’ and in the UK it was regarded as a healing tree, but today, Ash is sometimes considered a ‘weed’. It is a tall, broad tree that is both tough and fast-growing, and manages to colonise areas easily, taking up space where other trees have died or fallen. However, it is a good forest tree as it lets light reach the floor, allowing other plants to flourish, such as Wild Garlic and Dog’s Mercury. It is particularly common in the north and Wales where it likes damp and fertile soils in cooler conditions.
How to identify?
Ash can easily be recognised by its compound leaves (made up of seven to twelve leaflets), its large black buds and the bunches of ash ‘keys’ – winged seeds – that disperse in the autumn.