Ash is without question one of the most versatile woods available in the world of harwood flooring, with many styles – from ash parquet flooring, to ash wide plank wood flooring – enjoying robust popularity. The ash that we to enjoy within our homes and workspaces tends to come from only two species, although ash is part of the Fraxinus genus, which encompasses around 60 different species, including the olive and lilac families. When we talk about ash as a workable material, we are generally referring to either European Ash, or American Ash. But, what is the difference between the two, and which will deliver the perfect vision for your stunning interior? Here, we will trace the distinctions between these two species of wood, allowing you to make the ideal choice for your approaching renovation project.
Where Can European And American Ash Be Found?
While the Fraxinus genus can be found growing throughout Europe, North America, north Africa and many parts of Asia, Fraxinus Americana and Fraxinus Excelsior are geographically more specific, and to create that stunning ash wide plank wood flooring, we should begin by tracking their roots! The first – known widely as American Ash – can be traced to the north and western regions of the United States. The second – commonly referred to as European Ash – is native across the span of Europe, from northern Spain to Russia, and southward into Turkey. Following the arrival of an invasive species of boring insect in the 1990s, American Ash has been classified as a threatened species, although it is still widely cultivated. In response, European ash cultivation has been adopted across many US states too.
The Romantic History Of European Ash
The humble European Ash tree played a central role in Norse mythology, which revered a vast and ancient ash tree known as Yggdrasil which served to connect the nine worlds within the cosmos. A dragon names Níðhöggr was believed to live in the tree. Moving forward, and pausing on the Scottish Isle of Bute at the turn of the 18th century, an old ash tree growing beside a church was known as the “Dreamin' Tree”, as those who ate it's leaves would dream of their future spouses and destinies. The place of the European Ash within such cultures is hardly surprising when we consider how much it was woven into the fabric of society, cultivated and coppiced for use as timber, fuel, and fine crafts. From the Norsemen's ships through to early aircraft, the versatility and durability of this wood has long been celebrated.
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