Live edge native Minnesota Black Ash lumber from Minnesota Timber & Millwork

Uniform Color and Pronounced Grain Pattern

Black Ash

Black Ash has a rich history in the Great North Woods.  Minnesota has more Ash trees than any other state, with nearly one million acres of Black Ash, mostly in the central and northeastern part of the state, where lowland forest types are abundant.  Black Ash is the tree of choice for pounding of traditional Native American basketry.  Black Ash is threatened with extinction by Emerald Ash Borer (from Asia), along with all other native Ash species.  Rajala Forestry is developing a plan for retaining mature Black Ash in our forests for as long as possible, stockpiling a huge inventory of lumber and millwork once the EAB is upon us, and utilizing immature trees that will continue to grow to some degree.  We are presently working hard to transition pure Black Ash stands to a mix of species, so that when EAB arrives, we will be able to keep these areas forested.

For decades to come, MTM offers Black Ash in a full mix of hardwood products.  The grades include Select, Premium, and Rustic.  Products are Paneling, Flooring, Staircases, Trim, Loft Floor, Roof Decking, and Shingles.  Black Ash grows straight and true, allowing us to use our sawmill capabilities to offer it in longer lengths than most other hardwood species.  One of the great features of Black Ash is its uniform brown color and pronounced grain pattern.  

It is medium in density.

Back to the Wood Species Guide

Grades of Wood


Elegant selection with consistent grain, minimal small knots, and overall smooth character.  Excellent choice for a more refined look.


Varying amounts of excellent tight characteristics including medium size knots, streaks, bark pockets, and grain variation.  This grade is excellent for a higher character look than Select, but not entirely Rustic either.


This exciting grade provides the highest degree of character, with a wide range of knot sizes, streaks, a few holes and torn knots, and occasional heavy bark deposits.  Rustic grade can appear a bit "loose" when unfinished, but with Prefinish applied the character holds together beautifully and really pops.  This grade continues to grow in popularity, even in high end applications.

MTM is able to mix the grades in any combination to give you the exact look you are after.  Some species (such as Elm) are limited in quantity and are only offered as a full mix of grades.  A few species are unavailable in Select grade due to the natural characteristics of the tree (Tamarack).