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Fraxinus spp.


Includes at least Fraxinus commemoralis, Fraxinus mandshurica, and Fraxinus sieboldiana of the family Oleaceae, the olive family

Also known as "Japanese ash" but not to be confused with the wood commonly called "sen" which is ALSO called "Japanese ash" (although it, unlike tamo, is NOT actually an ash). Not generally available as lumber in the USA but fairly readily available, albeit expensive, as a wildly swirly-grain veneer that sometimes exhibits the "peanut" figure for which it is most famous.

Unlike, for example "Spanish cedar" which is neither Spanish nor cedar, this "Japanese ash" really is an ash and it really does grow in Japan. So, you see, SOMETIMES common names make sense (but don't count on it).

my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting ("soft white" at 2700K)
colors will vary under other lighting conditions

first side and end grain of a sample plank of Japanese ash / Fraxinus spp. --- HUGE enlargements are present. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION G. The label just says "Japanese ash" but this is clearly tamo.

the second face, before and after sanding it down a bit, showing how the patina from aging is only surface deep.

end grain closeup and END GRAIN UPDATE of the piece directly above. The rays are particularly faint on this piece.

both sides of a sample plank of tamo ash / Fraxinus sieboldiana --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. This is a the only formal wood sample that I've ever seen that is end-grain butt-joined. Also, pretty obviously, this piece exhibits none of the swirly grain for which this species is famous.

end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above

END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above

a solid ash box-top that I shot at a craft show. It has a finish on it and the color is quite correct.

veneer --- there is a little too much red in these pics

veneer sheet and closeup --- color is very accurate

more veneer --- accurate color this time, but with just a shade too much red (it's really more the color of the large sheet directly above)

several pics all from the same large sheet of tamo veneer --- I had a bit of trouble with the color correction, but these are very close to being accurate, with just a little too much red in the pics

veneer sample of tamo ash / Fraxinus mandshurica --- HUGE enlargements are present. This part of a collection which is discussed here: COLLECTION D

web pics:


plank closeup

plank listed as tamo / Fraxinus mandschurica


bookmatched veneer

veneer --- this set of pictures is all from the same vendor, with fairly accurate colors, based on my experience. These are what is sometimes called "peanut" figure, although this is one of those designations that is used pretty loosely. True "peanut" figure tamo has bubble-like areas that really do look like a peanut shell (the double-nut "standard" goober shell) --- see directly below for a better example.

listed as "peanut" figure veneer

listed as "waterfall" tamo veneer

fiddleback veneer

log halves for bowl blanks