Fraxinus excelsior

Ash tree on the isle of Mull

The Ash tree is widespread on Mull and in past times would have been highly regarded.

Supposed to have mystical and medicinal properties, it was also used in tool making.

  • Bark is smooth and greenish grey, turning grey and fissuring with age

The wood acts as a natural shock absorber so was used in farm tool handles such as spades, axes, and farm implements such as plough handles.

  • Trees can reach up to 40m tall

It was also used to make carts and coaches.

Ash tree

Other uses include oars, flooring, shinty sticks, rackets, and skis

  • single winged seeds called ‘keys’ grow in bunches

The firewoods was burnt to drive out evil spirits.

  • Distinctive black winter buds produce next years shoots and also dense clusters of small purple flowers

The Vikings considered the Ash “The Tree of Life”