Olive family (Oleaceae)
Tree of height 30-40 m, breast-height diameter 100(227) cm. Lives more than 200 years. Trunk bark dark grey, with shallow fissuring. Buds black. Leaves (up to 40 cm) long, formed from 7-11(15) sessile leaflets. Latter are sharp-pointed, and slightly toothed at crinkled margins. On underside, main vein typically hairy. Leaves develop late, do not become discoloured. Tiny flowers lack perianth, are hermaphrodite or single-sex (often both on same tree), present in clusters and wind-pollinated. Nutlets flattened, with elongate, ca. 4 cm-long wing, giving so-called “ash keys” hanging in bunch-like infructescences. Flowers Apr.-May, before leaves develop.
Moisture-loving, with demanding trophic requirements. Thus grows in nutrient-rich broadleaved forests, be these riparian, oak-lime-hornbeam or alder-ash.
Descriptions devised by the team at the Independent Department of Forest Botany, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, i.e. L. Witkowska-Żuk, K. Marciszewska, W. Ciurzycki, A. Obidziński and P. Zaniewski