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Ash wood

Ash wood is one of the most popular types of wood. It is considered a ductile wood with characteristics ranging from high calorific value to exceptional flexibility. Ash is a much-loved and used wood so it is hoped that the park in Europe will soon recover.

The common ash tree

In 2001 the common ash tree was voted "Tree of the Year". It is one of the three species of ash found in Europe: in addition to the common ash, manna ash and narrow-leaved ash also originate from the European continent. Although the name suggests otherwise, the "mountain ash" tree is not one of the ash trees. Ash trees belong to the family of olive trees.

The ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior) can reach heights of about 40 meters in good condition and is therefore one of the tallest deciduous trees on our continent. It is often found in association with beech trees. Where beech is less lush, e.g. in damp alluvial forests or on dry limestone soils, there are usually larger ash forests. However, it rarely reaches its maximum growth height. Most specimens only grow between 15 and 20 meters. Ash is not only appreciated for its wood. It also plays an important role in mythology: "Yggdrasil" - is the tree of the world found in Nordic mythology, according to Edda.

In naturopathy, parts of this tree have been used as medicine since ancient times. Tea made from ash leaves is considered to have a diuretic effect and oil, from grated bark, was also used to treat gout, broken bones and rheumatism.

Unfortunately, deaths by ingestion of these products have been recorded since the 1990s. The causes, spread from Poland to Austria to Germany, are attributable to a fungal attack on withered and falling leaves and dead spots on the trunk. Scientists are trying to counter the extinction of the plant species, which has been almost completely exterminated in Denmark, for example, by breeding fungus-resistant ash trees. The Asian beetle from Asia also represents a growing threat to the species.

Ash wood: a noble wood with special properties

The most important deciduous woods in Central Europe are beechwoods, the oak and the ash. Ash wood is used especially when elasticity and strength are required. Manufacturers use the special properties of ash wood for bent parts in boat construction, furniture construction and sports equipment construction.

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Set 15 pieces with Nativity Stable simplefrom 247 €
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What does ash wood look like?

Ash wood can be easily distinguished from other types of wood by its structure, colour and grain. Ash is mostly light-coloured; the outer layers have a slightly yellowish colour. The heartwood is sometimes darker..

Ash wood is particularly attractive due to its structure: it is characterised by a marbled pattern. For this reason, it is often used in the production of veneered furniture.

Maserung und Textur von EschenholzAsh wood grain and structure

Ash wood can also be recognised by its clearly visible annual rings. Cross sections occasionally reveal multi-coloured stripes. Annual rings more than one and a half millimetres apart indicate the high quality of the wood: it is stable and can be used in many ways.

How much does ash wood cost?

The price of ash wood depends on the quality of "white" or "brown" ash. Any heat treatment also affects the price of the wood. The price of "brown" ash is comparable to the price of beech wood and is around 700 to 800 euros per cubic metre. White" is considerably more expensive, ranging from 1000 to 1200 euros per cubic metre. Heat-treated wood costs around 50% more.

In some regions it is worthwhile to produce the firewood yourself and to buy the wood for processing directly from the local forestry administration. The prices are considerably lower.

What special properties does ash wood have?

Lagerung von EschenholzStorage of ash wood

Shrinkage, drying and durability: Basically, it is a very hard and durable wood, although the quality and weight vary depending on the place of origin as it shrinks moderately. Experts recommend drying it outside, as the rain will help remove the tannic acid and thus improve the quality. After about a year, the wood should be layered under a roof.

The dry weight of ash wood is approximately 670 kg/sqm. As it is not very weather resistant and fungal and insect infestations are common, it should only be used indoors or protected by appropriate treatment.

How can ash wood be processed?

It can be processed easily by machine or by hand. In this way, the ash wood can be perfectly sanded and glued, creating a matting effect when planing the surface. In order to make it flexible, the wood is steamed. After this process, the ash wood is extremely malleable and becomes resistant to alkalis and acids. When drilling and screwing ash, it is essential to drill holes beforehand. As ash wood has a strong grain, it is only suitable to a limited extent for filigree carving work. At Fairy tale Nativity scene available here in store, on the other hand, the grain emphasises the special appearance of the fancy nativity figures.

For what uses is ash particularly suitable?

Because of its flexibility, it has long been in demand as a special wood in vehicle construction, mechanical engineering and wheels. Today, wood is popular in furniture construction and in many other areas mainly because of its versatility, excellent properties and natural appearance.

Ash is very flexible and durable - characteristics that make the wood ideal for use in flooring such as parquet. Ash wood is suitable for veneering and for furniture production. Sports equipment such as skis and rackets are also typically used. In addition, musical instruments and tools are often made of ash wood.

Möbel aus EschenholzIn furniture construction, ash is suitable as upholstery and for the production of curved seating and reclining furniture.

In addition to all the advantages, ash has one major disadvantage: it is not suitable for outdoor use. It is delicate, can turn yellow when exposed to light and can be susceptible to fungal or insect infection. Impregnation is not sufficient.

Is ash wood a good firewood?

Many customers purchasing firewood avoid buying ash. However, the bad reputation of ash wood as a fuel stems largely from prejudices that are easy to refute. Anyone who fears that ash, as a long-fibre variety, cannot be split easily, should use fresh ash wood. With a calorific value of about 1945 kWh/Rm, ash is in the same league as oak or beech. Above all, the liveliness of the flames and spark-free combustion make it worthwhile to use ash wood as fireplace wood. There is no need to be afraid of small insects entering the house through this wood or dust, as larvae and beetles only live in the inner bark and do not feed on wood. For some years now, ash has been increasingly sold as firewood - it's worth a try!

How should ash wood be treated correctly?

Ash wood, like all types of real wood, should be cleaned without water if possible. Normally it is sufficient to clean the surface with a lint-free cotton or microfibre cloth. As a rule, furniture and objects made of ash are already polished or oiled during manufacture. However, subsequent treatment in the home is also possible.

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