Twig

TWIGS

Look to see if your trees have twigs that are opposite from each other where they branch off from their main stem.  Ashes, maples, and horse chestnut trees are the only large trees in the Midwest that have opposite twigs.

Ash wood is fairly brittle, especially when it's dead. As a result, small twigs frequently break off from their main stem turning their partners into singles. Therefore as you search for ash trees, don't expect to see all twigs perfectly arranged in pairs.  All you need to do is find a few opposing pairs of twigs on your tree to know it's either ash, maple, or horse chestnut.  To distinguish between the three, examine the bark and leaves.

Twigs arranged opposite to each other
Twigs arranged opposite to each other
Bark of Horse Chestnut
Bark of Horse Chestnut
Bark

Bark

Look for diamond-shaped patterns in the bark of your tree.  If you can find diamonds in the bark, you have an ash tree.

Bark of White Ash
Bark of White Ash
Diamonds in the bark
Diamonds in the bark
Bark of Ash tree
Bark of Ash tree
Leaves

Leaves

Look for leaves that have three to four pairs of leaflets branching off from a central stem (aka leaf rachis).

White Ash Tree Leaf
White Ash Tree Leaf
Bark of silver maple tree
Bark of silver maple tree
Bark of box elder, a species of maple
Bark of box elder, a species of maple

Identifying emerald Ash Borer symptoms

Click here to learn the symptoms of an emerald ash borer infection.

Next Steps…

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