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White Ash vs Green Ash

White and green ash are notoriously difficult to tell apart. Characteristics like leaf shape and serration are highly variable on both species; with skill though, the two species can usually be distinguished at any time of year. Some trees are easier to identify than others. Because of high variability, check multiple examples of each characteristic before drawing a conclusion.

White Ash (Fraxinus americana)

Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

A formerly widespread tree species native to eastern North America; often found in earlier stages of forest succession.
A widely-distributed tree found mostly in floodplains, riparian areas, and swamps, and occasionally found on drier sites.
Leaflets attached by longer petioles. Base of each leaflet is well-defined.
Leaflets taper at the base to a short, winged petiole.
Leaf scars distinctly U-shaped.
Leaf scars straight across or only shallowly indented at top.
Bark of mature trees has long, narrow vertical ridges alternating with deep valleys. Texture is more firm to the touch.
Bark is more flakey and plate-like, with more horizontal cracks. Ridges and valleys not as deep on trees of similar age. Not as firm to the touch.
Shorter, stouter seed only takes up a smaller portion of the length of the samara. Seeds average wider.
Longer, narrower seed takes up a greater portion of the length of the samara. Both samaras and seeds average longer.