Because Wisqoq is so rare in Nova Scotia, it is very difficult to identify the tree and tell the difference between similar species. Wisqoq is often confused with White Ash which is very common throughout the province. This guide will provide a closer look at these two tree species and help see the differences.


Wisqoq has a compound leaf measuring 10-14 inches from the tip of the leaf to the end of the stalk. Each leaf consists of 9-11 leaflets positioned directly opposite each other on the leaf stem. Wisqoq leaflets are stalk less. In contrast, white Ash leaflets are joined to the leaf stem by a short stalk. When you look up at the tree you can see the visible stalk clearly against the sky. Wisqoq leaflets are 3-5 inches long and have a tiny saw tooth outer edge (margin). Wisqoq leaflets are long and slender in comparison to other ash species and are usually dark green on both top and bottom. Dense tufts of rusty brown hair are found on the underside of the leaflet where the leaflets join the stem.


The twigs of Wisqoq are straight and thick, light grey in colour, and are smooth, but dull in texture. Twigs are located directly opposite each other on the branches of the tree. The end bud (terminal bud) is dark brown or black and is sharply pointed, and usually separated from side buds with bark visible between.   This feature distinguishes it from White Ash. (White Ash end buds and side buds have no gap). Leaf scars, that are left where the tree shed its leaves, have a rounded bottom and are flat on the top. The bark of the twig has small raised white spots (lenticels).


At a younger age, the bark is somewhat soft, loose and corky in texture. The older tree has tighter scalier bark, often light grey in colour, with dark furrows.


Wisqoq seed is comprised of an embryo and a wing which protects it. It is approximately 3 cm long, light brown in colour, and is often twisted.


A Wisqoq seedling can be identified by its leaves only as described above.

ID Field Guide

Identifier Black Ash White Ash
Leaves 9-11 leaflets 7 leaflets
Leaflets Stockless with tufts of hair at joints
Long and slender
Margin is saw toothed.
Dark green on both top and underside.
Clearly visible stocks connecting the leaflet to the stem.
Leaflets are more rounded, oval shaped.
Edges are smooth or with sparse rounded teeth.
Leaflets are dark green with a pale green underside.
Twigs Light grey Light brown
End Buds Separate from side buds – black, sharp pointed Tight to side buds
Dark brown, wide and rounded
Bark Soft and corky when young becoming scaly
Light grey with dark furrows
Smooth when young
Diamond shape furrows when older
Grey in color

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