Wood used for making arrows

Roger Ascham (1515 – 1568), writing about arrowmaking in his book Toxophilus: The Schole or Partitions of Shootinge, listed 15 types of wood that could be used to make arrows.  “Birche, Hardbeame, some Oake, and some Ashe, being both strong enough to stande in a bow and light enough to fly farre are beste for a meane [average] shaft…”.

For use during warfare he particularly recommended ash (pictured): “For of all other woods that ever I proved [tried out], Ashe being bigge is swiftest, and againe hevye to give a great stripe [hit] withal, which Aspe shall not do.  What heavinesse doth in a stripe every man by experience can tell, therefore Ashe being both swifter and heavier is more for sheafe arrows than Aspe, and thus much for the best wood for shaftes”.