Black ash uses

White ash, black ash, and their various uses. July 26, 2000

I have some black ash logs. I know white ash is used for furniture and bats, but what is black ash good for, and does it air-dry well?

Forum Responses
Ash is divided into two groups -- white and black. The color is darker (browner) in black ash than in white ashes.

Black ash wood is 10 percent lighter in weight, meaning it is weaker, more limber, etc.

Black ash is a commercially sold wood and even though it is not as good as the white ashes, it is excellent for cabinets, furniture, etc.
Gene Wengert, forum moderator

Black ash is also a preferred wood for making splints for baskets. It separates easily on the annual growth rings.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor A:
Black ash has also been a demanded item in Japan, Tiawan and Korea for slicing veneer. It is very close to Japanese tamo. The majority and best quality comes from the upper midwest. First shipment went to Tiawan from Minnesota in 1984. Eastern markets have slowed since late 80's to mid 90's.

Comment from contributor B:
I have used tounge and grove, v groove black ash lumber as wall paneling, both vertical and herringbone pattern at a 45 degree angle, and as flooring. It is a beautful look. Every knot in a board means it will have a bend right at the knot, making a problem to fit together. It's worth the effort. Anyone can buy cedar or pine at the lumber yard. A black ash wall is a unique feature in a home. As to air drying, all I have used was air dried only. I nearly forgot our black ash bathroom cabinets, raised panel doors. I would like to use more of it.