Of the 65 species of trees and shrubs called ash, six- white, pumpkin, blue, black, green, and Oregon ash–are commercially important for lumber and other wood products. White ash grows throughout almost the entire wooded area of the U. S. east of the Great Plains, except the Gulf and South Atlantic coasts, and in southern Ontario and Quebec. Green ash has practically the same geographic distribution except that it also grows along the coast, follows the tributaries of the Mississippi River westward across the prairies, and extends farther northward in Canada. Black ash grows along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River from New England westward to Minnesota and northeastern Iowa.
The principal use of ash is in furniture, interior parts of upholstered furniture, kitchen cabinets, and architectural trim and cabinetry. Ash is straight grained, stiff, strong, and hard. White ash is superior to other ash species in these qualities. Ash also has good bending properties, high shock resistance, and it wears smooth in use.
White ash shrinks moderately but can be kiln dried rapidly and satisfactorily. Ash commonly is dried from the green condition in the kiln and requires 10-15 days for 1-inch lumber. It machines well, is better than average in nail- and screw-holding strength, and is intermediate for gluing, Other ash species have lower strength properties than white ash but still compare favorably with other native hardwoods. These species also split easier shrink more, are average in workability, and perform somewhat less favorable than white ash when exposed to extreme cycles of moisture content.
(RS Boone, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry)
Below are examples of different finishes