Ash trees are 70 species of deciduous trees that grow through much of northern Eurasia and North America.
Ash trees are among the most beautiful of all trees and are prized for their wood. It was once used to make oars and handles for axes and tennis rackets and for skis.
The tallest of all flowering plants is the Australian mountain ash which grows over 100 m tall.
The Australian mountain ash (4) is the fourth highest tree ever recorded, measuring 114 m. The tallest ever measured is the Australian eucalyptus (1) at 132.6 m, followed by two douglas firs (2 and 3.) The fifth highest is the coast redwood, standing at 112 m.
Ash trees are part of the olive family.
The Vikings worshipped the ash as a sacred tree. Yggdrasil, the Tree of the World, was a giant ash whose roots reached into hell but whose crown reached heaven.
In Viking myth Odin, the greatest of the gods, created the first man out of a piece of ash wood.
The manna ash got its name because it was thought that its sugary gum was manna. Manna was the miraculous food that fell from heaven to feed the biblical Children of Israel in the desert as they fled from Egypt.
The mountain ash is also known as the rowan or quickbeam. In America it is known as dogberry. It is not related to other ash trees.