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Fraxinus americana

It's a white ash tree! 

White ash gets its name from the thousands of papillae on its leaves, giving the leaves a white tinge best seen from the underside of the leaf. Check out these really cool leaf peels where you can see the papillae!

The white ash can be found all over Michigan, maybe even in your backyard! Across the US there are an estimated 8 BILLION ash trees. iNaturalist is a really great resource to make your own observations or see other’s, pinpointing white ash trees on the map.

Ash trees like the white ash are critically endangered. Millions of ash have been killed by the invasive, non-native emerald ash borer, first discovered in SE Michigan in 2002. EAB larvae laid on the tree eat away at the bark, killing the tree. For more info, visit: http://www.emeraldashborer.info/

We hope you enjoyed reading a bit and learning about the white ash! For ash trees conservation is more important than ever to save them from extinction. Read about it here from Indigenous Landscapes.


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White ash specimenA Fraxinus americana specimen from the Michigan State University Herbarium's collection. One of the specimens used to create Page 1 of Michigan Trees.
Papillae on white ash leaf100X microscope image of a Fraxnius americana leaf peel, showing the many thousands of papillae and ridges connecting them.
Backside of white ash leavesThe backside of Fraxinus americana leaves where you can best observe the white tinge that the leaves have from the many papillae. 
Michigan flora distribution mapA distribution map of Michigan indicating the counties in which Fraxnius americana has been documented.
Emerald ash borerThe invasive, non-native emerald ash borer which has been destroying ash tree populations for over a decade.