Fraxinus americana is the scientific term for the white ash tree, which also is known as the American ash. There are a variety of fraxinus trees, but the americana refers specifically to the tree indigenous to the middle and eastern United States. The white ash’s range of habitation in the U.S. is wide, stretching from the East Coast to as far south and west as Texas and north and west as Minnesota. It can be successfully transplanted farther north and west and is also found in Canada. This tree is used for a variety of commercial, ornamental, athletic and homeopathic purposes.
The name white ash derives from the dusty appearance of the underside portion of the tree’s leaves. Fraxinus americana also is distinguished in its bark, which tends to curl outward in strips, giving the appearance that the bark is peeling off. The tree typically grows in the more moist areas of its habitat, is pyramidal in shape and is considered hardy.
As a homeopathic remedy, the fraxinus americana is suggested for a number of conditions. These conditions include head pain and anxiety related to depression. It is sometimes suggested for females suffering from an enlarged uterus, foot cramps and hot flashes. The homeopathic medicine derived from the fraxinus americana is widely available in a liquid dilution.
Homeopathic remedies are considered by many as an alternative form of medicine based on the philosophy of Samuel Hahnemann, an 18th-century German doctor. Materials prepared as homeopathic remedies typically are extremely diluted. Before treating a condition with any type of medicine, an individual should consult his or her health care provider.
Fraxinus americana trees also are planted as a commercial crop in almost all geographic areas that will support them. An advantage of the tree as a crop is its relative quick time to grow to a harvestable height, estimated at about 11 years. The tree’s dense, sturdy wood makes it popular for many applications.
The uses of the wood of the fraxinus americana tree in commercial applications include plank flooring, furniture making and construction of lobster cages for commercial fishers. Fraxinus americana wood has many recreational uses as well. The strength of the tree's wood makes it a popular construction material for natural-wood long bows, the manufacture of baseball bats and the construction of non-synthetic guitar bodies.