Widespread, and the third most common tree in Britain. It thrives in well drained, fertile soil in cool atmospheres.
Pinnately compound with up to twelve leaflets growing in opposite pairs up the stem, and a single leaflet at the end. Oval, light green leaflets that fall when they are still green.
Distinctive, large black buds that develop into spiked clusters of purple flowers in spring.
Female flowers develop into ‘keys’, winged seeds that hang in bunches from the tree and fall in autumn and winter.