Ash Trees

COMMON ASH (Fraxinus excelsior)

Ash is found across Europe, from the Arctic Circle to Turkey. It is the third most common tree in Britain. It often dominates British woodland but is currently being affected by Chalara ash dieback, a disease caused by the Chalara fraxinea fungus. [Woodland Trust]

In Greek mythology, the Meliae were nymphs of the ash, perhaps specifically of the Manna Ash (Fraxinus ornus), as dryads were nymphs of the oak. They appear in Hesiod's Theogony.  The ash exudes a sugary substance that, it has been suggested, was fermented to create the Norse Mead of Inspiration.Elsewhere in Europe, snakes were said to be repelled by ash leaves or a circle drawn by an ash branch. Irish folklore claims that shadows from an ash tree would damage crops. In Cheshire, it was said that ash could be used to cure warts or rickets. In Sussex the ash and elm tree were known as the Widow Maker because the large boughs would often drop without warning. [ Wikipedia]