Native Americans have used the method of pounding ash logs for centuries to produce fine splints used in making baskets of all shapes and forms. Once a suitable tree is located and felled the task of removing the outer bark is followed by a labor intensive period of pounding the cut log with a heavy mallet or hammer repeatedly. This is done continuously over the entire body of log until the individual growth rings begin to separate from the main body. The splints are then peeled away, cleaned on either side with a knife to smooth the surface. Individual splints can be further reduced to produce finer workstuffs by starting a split with a jack knife and applying pulling apart from the split with even pressure on both of the new splints. Completely splints can then be cut into narrow strips or be coiled and stored for later use. Ash comes in a variety of species with the best splints coming from brown or black ash (known as the basket tree) but usable albeit coarser splints can also be attained from white ash.