Black Ash Lumber from MTE
Black Ash trees are common in Wisconsin's Menominee Forest. While it shares some traits with other Ash trees (like opposite branching and compound leaves), its diamond-patterned bark makes this tree truly unique. Its abundance and affordability make it a popular choice for commercial and recreational use. The lumber—a darker, lightweight version on the white ash’s—lends itself to a variety of projects:
Until recently, the Ash tree population was considered healthy and thriving. But unfortunately, the trees are now in decline. A Wisconsin DNR report suggests that, like other Ash trees, Black Ash is struggling. The Emerald Ash Borer beetle — an insect that feeds on Ash trees— has infested much of Wisconsin’s Ash supply, including the Menominee Forest. The Ash tree mortality rate has increased by 68% as a result of Emerald Ash Borers, leaving all Black Ash trees at risk.
MTE has combined efforts with Wisconsin environmental organizations in designing an invasive species prevention plan targeting the Emerald Ash Borer. Our commitment to sustainable forestry doesn’t end at the Menominee. We endeavor to promote responsible and sustainable forestry throughout Wisconsin and North America to preserve our forests.
Characteristics of Black Ash
While the Emerald Ash Borer has devastated Ash forests, the increasing mortality rate leaves a large stock volume of premium rough cut lumber from felled trees. Black Ash lumber has a coarse texture, comparable to oak. Like White Ash, Black Ash is lauded for being shock-resistant and flexible.