A deciduous tree of woodland, scrub and hedgerows, especially on moist, basic soils, but also frequent on rock scars and cliffs, stabilised scree and the grikes of limestone pavement. It can tolerate periodically waterlogged soils, being found around springs and in Alnus and Salix carr. In managed woodland it may be grown as a timber tree or coppice. It is a rapid coloniser of waste ground, disused quarries and railway banks. 0-585 m (Cwm Idwal, Caerns.).
The range of F. excelsior is stable. In N. Scotland it is native on limestone and widely planted elsewhere; differentiating native from alien populations can be difficult.
European Temperate element.
PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Atlas text references
Comparative Plant Ecology,
, London, (1988)
Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols,
, Königstein, (1986)
Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols,
, Jena, (1978)
Ancient woodland: its history, vegetation and uses in England,
, London, (1980)
Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 79. Fraxinus excelsior L,
, Journal of Ecology, Volume 49, p.739-751, (1961)