Ash trees are found along the trail near the Kentucky River on the edge of the opened fields.
White Ash, Fraxinus americana L.
Oleaceae -- Olive family
Richard C. Schlesinger
White ash (Fraxinus americana), also called Biltmore ash or Biltmore white ash, is the most common and useful native ash but is never a dominant species in the forest. It grows best on rich, moist, well-drained soils to medium size. Because white ash wood is tough, strong, and highly resistant to shock, it is particularly sought for handles, oars, and baseball bats. The winged seeds provide food for many kinds of birds.
White ash grows naturally from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, to northern Florida in the east, and to eastern Minnesota south to eastern Texas at the western edge of its range (7).
One of the earliest reported uses of white ash was as a snake bite preventive. Ash leaves in a hunter's pocket or boots were "proved" to be offensive to rattlesnakes and thereby provided protection from them. Seeds of white ash are eaten by the wood duck, bob white, purple finch, pine grosbeak, and fox squirrel. White ash is used in yard, street, and roadside plantings and also has been planted on strip mines with some success.
Green Ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh.
Oleaceae -- Olive family
Harvey E. Kennedy, Jr.
Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), also called red ash, swamp ash, and water ash, is the most widely distributed of all the American ashes. Naturally a moist bottom land or stream bank tree, it is hardy to climatic extremes and has been widely planted in the Plains States and Canada. The commercial supply is mostly in the South. Green ash is similar in property to white ash and they are marketed together as white ash. The large seed crops provide food to many kinds of wildlife. Due to its good form and resistance to insects and disease, it is a very popular ornamental tree.
Green ash extends from Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia west to southeastern Alberta; south through central Montana, northeastern Wyoming, to southeastern Texas; and east to northwestern Florida and Georgia.
Green ash wood, because of its strength, hardness, high shock resistance, and excellent bending qualities, is used in specialty items such as tool handles and baseball bats but is not as desirable as white ash. It is also being widely used in revegetation of spoil banks created from strip mining. Green ash is very popular as a shade tree in residential areas because of its good form, adaptability to a wide range of sites, and relative freedom from insects and diseases. Seeds are used for food by a number of game and nongame animals and birds.