The Ash Tree

Ash trees border

She refuses to be another daisy,
Picked for her beauty and left to die,
She is pure, wild, fearless and free.
Difficult to find even with an open eye.
Yet as grounded as the mighty ash tree.
She wears strength on her leaves,
And when darkness bereaves,
She does not fear,
She becomes it.                                     ( The Ash Tree by Ashley Wilson)

Along our border, we had a whole line of mighty ash trees.  During the past few years we have lost three during summer storms.  Lucien, my old neighbour told me that he planted them when he was very young.  He is no longer with us,  but his memory through these trees, that now must be nearly a hundred years old, will remain.

Ash trees

They provide a great deal of shade and in summer Amelia and I love them and sometimes curse them as they provide too much shade to the vegetable garden.

The ash tree (Fraxinus) flowers are pretty enough but do not appear to interest our bees.

The ash trees have both male and female flowers that can appear on different trees or on different branches.  We do get a lot of flowers on our ash trees but they seem to attract very few pollinators.

So, a couple of years ago, Amelia chose another variety, the flowering ash tree (Fraxinus Ornus).  We bought a tree which is some three meters tall, and has started to flower beautifully.

Flowering Ash Tree

And I am delighted that its flowers do indeed attract both the bumble bees as well as our honey bees,

Fraxinus Ornus (1)

Although this little lady is carrying pollen, I think that she is also sucking nectar.

Fraxinus Ornus (2)

Ashley Wilson, at the end of her poem notes that for the Celts, the Ash tree was considered as the guardian of children and represented resurrection and renewal.  To the druids, the ash tree represented the realm between the sky and the earth.

So I hope that in these troubled times, our ash trees – both types – will be a sign of renewal into Spring and Summer and that they will be the guardian of our little bees.




12 thoughts on “The Ash Tree

    1. thelivesofk

      Thanks. I do hope that the ash trees in your area of the world survive as the emerald ash borer appears to have destroyed many ash trees in the US and Canada,


    1. thelivesofk

      Thanks. Ash tree are lovely but they do drop many seeds and Amelia and I are obliged to pull them out as rapidly as possible as within a year their roots become as deep as their trunk, in the borders, in the middle of flower beds and in the veg garden.


  1. The woods across the road from where we live have been devastated in the last few months by the national woodland “cleaning gang” because of “Ash die back” the poor once beautiful woods look now in a sorry state because of bulldozer tracking all over the place. I do hope that the national woods people will replant all the open spaces with some strong and beautiful young trees. The ash trees here on our land seem to be doing ok. One golden one is very close to where the new house is to be built….. I do hope we can save it. We will try. There was a big fire here in 2014, the ash trees that got damaged then are re-growing from just above the ground from out of the damaged trunks. That is a miracle of survival in itself. Thank you for the lovely poem tomorrow I will tell the trees.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thelivesofk

      Thank you. It sounds as if like me you have some special relationship with the trees. I feel very sorry when trees are lost, as they just add so much to our environment in which we live.
      I understand that the experts hope that nevertheless, many European ash trees will survive and many new ones will be replanted.


    1. thelivesofk

      I love trees and I am sorry that around you so many ash trees have been lost to the emerald ash borer. As far as I understand that is a beetle affecting the North American ash trees, In Europe also many ash trees specially in forests have been lost, but here it has been due to chalara ash die back which I think is a fungus disease. The losses can still be devastating.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whilst we have no ash trees on our property, I remember seeing them as a kid on my way to school, near London, UK. A small copse of old trees, now long gone. This is where I learned to identify the oak, the ash and the sycamore trees by their buds, their
    leaves and then their flowers and fruits. Great photos. Spring has sprung here in the PNW, and every tree in blossom is overwhelmed with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thelivesofk

      Annie, so good to hear about your memories of the trees in the UK. I always loved trees, and felt that they are as alive as the birds. They give me a sense of peace and when I look up at them I feel humbled.


  3. We have ash trees all along the riverbank… and in many places in our field…. all seem to be very different.
    I have pollarded some, they seem to come back without a problem.
    Next is to knee-high pollard some to give me lots of straight lengths to make walking sticks and crooks.

    Liked by 1 person

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