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Manna ash, ornamental or income plant


The minor ash (Fraxinus ornus) more commonly calledorniello, is a tree cultivated both as an income plant and as an ornamental plant. From the bark oforniellothe so-calledmanna, a white-yellowish sugary substance that quickly thickens upon contact with air.

The manna is collected in the summer, especially in southern Italy and the islands where the stem is cut to obtain a decoction with anti-catarrhal and expectorant properties.

L'ornielloit is widespread in our country up to an altitude of 1,200 meters; for thecultivationloves bright locations and grows well both in the plains and in the mountains; it does not fear arid areas and also adapts well to calcareous soils. L'ornielloit can reach 150 years of age (it is not very long-lived) and has dimensions that can go up to 8-10 meters.

L'ornielloit can be grown near the relaxation areas of the garden, to provide shade during the summer and sun during the winter (since in this period it loses all its leaves!).
The leaves are very beautiful, composed of 2-4 pairs of leaflets plus an apical one, they are carried in opposite pairs on the twigs. THEflowers of the mannathey appear after the first leaves have been released and are gathered in very showy white tufts.

For its ornamental leaves and its beautifulflowers, L'ornielloit is often grown as an ornamental plant. Therecultivation of the mannaas an ornamental plant it is recommended for those who want shade in summer and need a medium-sized tree with a showy flowering and a delicate scent.

Those who want extensive shaded areas (perhaps to shade the house in summer and make it cooler), should not cultivateorniello but prefer a tree with a more imposing bearing and a thicker crown.

As stated, theorniellois suitable forincome cultivationand produces excellent firewood. L'ornielloit is a species that lends itself well to the coppice treatment which involves periodic cutting of the stems at the base with consequent development of suckers. Among the disadvantages ofornielloas a production plant we see that the minimum cutting shifts do not fall below 8 - 10 years: it is a slow-growing plant and for the same reason the tall stem government is not recommended.

The firewood produced byornielloit is extremely suitable for stoves and fireplaces: it has a very high calorific value and is an excellent fuel. Its excellent references as a fuel make thefirewood from the mannaparticularly valuable, managing to get a market price of around 14 euros per quintal.



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