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    Description

    Fraxinus nigra Marsh. is a small, relatively uncommon tree with large social significance. Known as black ash or brown ash, it rarely exceeds 18 meters (60 feet) in height or 30-50 centimeters (12-20 inches) in diameter. In the U.S. states where the species occurs, its percentage of forest composition ranges from 0.01% in Kentucky to 6.00% in Minnesota, with an average of 1.42% in the region as a whole (Miles 2009). Black ash basketmaking is nonetheless an important element of biocultural diversity in northeastern North America. It is central to the creation story of the Wabanaki peoples of Maine and black ash basketmaking has been an important cultural and economic activity of tribes throughout the region for hundreds of years. The species also has a history of use in Shaker and other European-derived craft traditions. Today, black ash basketry is a celebrated regional art manifested in both traditional and contemporary forms.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Diamond, Allaire K.; Emery, Marla R. 2011. Black Ash (Fraxinus nigra Marsh): Local ecological knowledge of site characteristics and morphology associated with basket-grade specimens in New England (USA). Economic Botany. 65(4): 422-426.

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/39991