Knowing what it is that we see brings us meaning and gives value to what is seen. —Lynn Bevan

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Ashes are part of the Olive and Lilac families. These trees have a single strong branch, known as a leader, which grows straight up. They can live to 300 years old but have recently been put at risk from attacks by the Emerald Ash Borer, an insect that has killed millions of Ash trees.

The small leaves of the Ash, called leaflets, grow opposite to each other on the same stalk. The leaves are pinnately compound. “Pinnate” comes from the Latin word for feather.

The bark of the Ash is grey and, with age, becomes rough with diamond-shaped ridges. 

Ash wood is strong and is used for flooring, tool handles, musical instruments, like guitars, and baseball bats.

There are two ash trees on the The Jean & Michael Bevan Tree Walk. They include:

Golden Desert Ash

(Fraxinus excelsior ‘Aureafolia’ Golden Desert)

The Golden Desert Ash is a cultivar of the European, or Common Ash, introduced from Europe. It is frequently planted for ornamental purposes because of its attractive foliage. It has a single-seeded samara (“key”) with a single thin wing that facilitates its distribution. The foliage is yellowish in spring, green-yellow in summer, and yellow-gold in the fall

Autumn Purple White Ash

(Fraxinus americana ‘Junginger’ Autumn Purple)

The Autumn Purple White Ash is an Ash that has been bred to have no seed pod and so is a popular street tree. It is a cultivar of the White Ash, the most common native species of Ash.  While the White Ash leaves turn yellow in the fall, the leaves of this cultivar turn a beautiful bronze-purple. 

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