The Royal Tree: last out, first in
Ash is a large deciduous tree that can grow to up to 115 feet (35 m) tall. Its crown is round and bushy letting through lots of light and giving rise to rich vegetation beneath the tree. Ash leaves sit in rows and have serrated edges. Its fruit has a characteristic wing, several inches long. In winter, Ash can be recognized by its black buds and thick twigs.
Ash is known as Kungaträdet — the Royal Tree — in Swedish because it is the last tree to bear leaves in spring and first to lose them in autumn. The fruit remain on the tree for a long time and provides an important source of winter food for small birds. Ash propagates by means of “sucker” branches growing up from the roots and lower trunk, and through pollination via male and female flowers. There are also trees that are polygamous, with flowers that are either male or female, or even hermaphroditic.
Tennis racquets and car frames
Ash timber is hard and strong. Historically, this wood species has been used for making furniture and tools. The wooden tennis racquets used by players such as Björn Borg until well into the 1980s were made from Ash. The car manufacturer Morgan even uses Ash in the frames of its cars because it is so strong!
The world tree — an Ash
According to Norse mythology, the universe is made up of a massive world tree — the Ash known as Yggdrasil. Yggdrasil has three root systems. Humans live in one of them, Midgård. The gods in Asgård, in the same root system, are nearest neighbors to the humans. The second root system is home to the giants in the stronghold of Utgård, while the underworld of Hel can be found under the third root system.