Forest Types
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Aspen   Bur Oak   Northern White-Cedar
Balsam Fir   Eastern White Pine   Red (Norway) Pine
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>Black Ash-American Elm-Red Maple   Jack Pine   Tamarack
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Black Ash - American Elm - Red Maple

| Description | Products and Uses | Site Conditions |
| Regeneration | Immediate Treatments | Pests and Diseases |

Description

Range of black ash

This type of woodland occurs throughout the Lake States (Figure 6-4) with varying proportions of ash, elm, and maple. American elm has declined in importance because of the prevalence of Dutch elm disease. The most common associates are balsam poplar, balsam fir, and yellow birch, but also may include eastern white pine, tamarack, black spruce, northern white-cedar, white spruce, quaking aspen, slippery elm, paper birch, and American basswood. Management recommendations in this section focus on black ash.

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. Strips of black ash wood are ready for weaving a basketProducts and Uses

Black ash is used for lumber, veneer, fuelwood, and baskets. The need for more basket-grade trees has resulted in greater interest in managing black ash, especially around Native American communities. Its seeds are an important food to game birds, songbirds, and small animals, and the twigs and leaves provide browse for deer and moose.

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Site Conditions

Black ash typically grows in bogs, along streams, and in poorly drained areas that often are seasonally flooded. It is most common on peat and muck soils, but also grows on fine sands that are underlain by sandy till (mixed clay, sand, gravel, and boulders) or on sands and loams that are underlain by clayey till. A black ash standIt can tolerate semi-stagnant conditions, but for best growth, the water should be moving so the soil will be aerated even though saturated. It tolerates pH from 4.4 to 8.2. In the northern Lake States the type frequently grades into northern white-cedar on wetter sites and into hemlock-yellow birch on better-drained areas. In northern Wisconsin it grades into tamarack or black spruce stands.

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Regeneration

Black ash reproduces from stump sprouts when trees are less than 12 inches DBH, from root suckers after trees are cut, and from seeds. It produces good seed crops about every four years. Because of seed dormancy requiring cold treatment, black ash seed does not normally germinate under natural conditions until the second year, and seed may remain viable for eight years.

Regenerate stands that are 15 to 18 inches DBH or 110 to 130 years old. A partial or complete removal of the overstory without advance regeneration will allow a rise in the water table, leading to a lack of seedling regeneration and stump sprouting. If there are fewer than 5,000 desirable seedlings an acre, make a shelterwood cut, leaving 75 percent crown cover of the best quality trees. When stocking reaches 5,000 seedlings an acre, reduce the crown cover to 50 percent. When seedlings are 2 to 3 feet tall (at about three to five years), clearcut the remaining trees when the ground is frozen and preferably covered with at least a foot of snow to reduce damage to seedlings.

To reinforce natural regeneration, plant 1-0 or 2-0 seedlings. (e.g. 1 or 2 year old seedlings).

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Intermediate Treatments

Black ash is a small, slow growing tree, commonly reaching just 8 to 10 inches DBH when mature. It is intolerant of shade.

In pole-sized stands, release crop trees about 5 feet beyond their crowns. Delay later thinnings until the crowns close and the lower branches have self-pruned, then thin to 90 percent crown cover. During thinnings, remove undesirable species and trees with poor stem form, suppressed crowns, or signs of disease or damage.

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Emerald ash borer is an invasive exotic insect that kills all species of ashPests and Diseases

Trunk rot and butt rot are the most serious diseases affecting black ash. Emerald ash borer is an invasive insect species that infests and kills all species of ash. It occurs in parts of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and is moving westward. Contact your state forestry agency for recommendations if your ash trees are dying or if you suspect they may be infested with emerald ash borer. Do not import or export firewood beyond the local area to minimize insect movement in the wood. Deer browse heavily on young black ash and if poplars are scarce, beaver will cut down ash.

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