With the aid of science writer and journalist Gabriel Popkin, I was able to locate these magnificent Blue Ash trees on the estate of Henry Clay in Lexington, Kentucky. Ashland was named for the beautiful trees on its grounds. Kate Heil, the business manager at Ashland, kindly informed me that the trees date to the time when Henry Clay built his estate, 1797-1804, and possibly earlier.
Fraxinus Quadrangulata is native primarily to the Midwestern United States, as well as the bluegrass region of Kentucky. It has distinctive four-sided winged stems and grey, platey bark. Under the tree’s inner bark is a substance that turns blue when exposed to air. It was used as a dye by early pioneers.
Here is a photo of my completed Green Ash tree, the Virginia Roundleaf Birch is on the easel now.