Some hikers, trekkers and hill-walkers prefer to use a longer stick -(usually called a staff) – than the traditional walking stick/cane. Although I generally concentrate on making normal length sticks, I occasionally come across shanks which are long enough to be finished as staffs.
This one is a good Mountain Ash / Rowan hiking staff.
Mountain Ash tree belongs to a different genus from other ash trees and is not attacked by the emerald ash borer. The European species of Mountain Ash is quite common in Ireland and grows wild in all kinds of environments. It grows to heights in excess of 30 feet and spreads to widths of up to 20 feet. It generally forms into an oval shape with green foliage that turns yellow in Autumn. In late Spring, it displays white flowers which later become bunches of orange-red berries that provide food for birds and wildlife.
Very nice walking sticks can be produced from Mountain Ash though, as with many other wood species, not without difficulty. The main problem is finding shanks of sufficient length as it has a tendency to produce off-shoots at short distances apart. I am always on the look-out for suitable shanks because, like Hazel, the bark does not have to be removed and produces a lovely finish.