The sapwood of white ash is creamy white, while the heartwood ranges from light tan to dark brown. The grain is bold and straight, with an occasional wavy pattern; and in plain-sawn boards it can have a strong contrast. The wood has a lustrous appearance, and the texture is rather coarse.
White ash is elastic and hard, and it has excellent shock-resistance. The wood remains smooth under friction. The wood is straight-grained, open pored, and hard, with no distinctive taste or odor. It is tough and yet elastic, with high shock resistance and excellent steam bending characteristics. The wood is relatively stable with little downgrade in drying.
Because ash wood is so hard, strong, and flexible, it is among the most valuable hardwood species. It is best known for baseball bats (e.g., the legendary "Louisville Slugger"). It is also used for fine flooring, furniture, tool handles, and sports equipment.