Lent Reflection

8th March 2022

Common Ash Ash Fraxinus Excelsior Tree European Ash

The ash – fraxinus excelsior – is the third most common tree in Britain. it grows to 20m in height – but sometimes even twice that – and can live for 400years, longer still if it is coppiced. Its straight grain and strong flexible wood makes it useful for furniture, tool handles, snooker cues, bows, bell stays and walking sticks. ash keys – its seed – have a wonderful flight pattern, spinning like helicopter wings. The timing of the ash coming into leaf can also serve as a weather forecast:-

“If the oak before the ash, then we’ll only have a splash; if the ash before the oak, then we’ll surely have a soak!”

“To dwellers in a wood, almost every species of tree has its presence voice as well as its feature.” Thomas Hardy, Under the Greenwood Tree

“Then let the trees in the forest sing out in praise, for the Lord is coming to judge the world.” 1 Chronicles 16:33

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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