Part of the Olive family, there are around 60 species of ash worldwide as grouped in the same family as the lilacs, jasmines and forsythias. Ashes have aerodynamic ‘keys’ like ‘maples’ but unlike maples they are symmetrical and not paired.

The wood is both strong and flexible. In the past it was used by the Anglo-Saxons for their spears and shield-handles. More recently other uses include tool handles, furniture, sports equipment, walking sticks, tent pegs, oars, gates, wheel rims, and even aircraft wings on the De Havilland Mosquito which flew in World War II.