Crossword Genius

Area that's dry up tree (3)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

ash

I'm a little stuck...
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Here is my best explanation:

'tree' is the definition.
(ash tree is a kind of tree)

'area that's dry up' is the wordplay.
'area' becomes 'a' (maths abbreviation).
'that's dry up' becomes 'sh' (I can't justify this - if you can you should give a lot more credence to this answer).
'a'+'sh'='ASH'

Ross

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This clue was last seen in The Independent

(Other definitions for ash that I've seen before include "End of fire", "at village near Whitchurch in Shropshire", "blonde", "What's often left after something 1 Ac", "Remnant from fire", "Part of forest", "sort of tree?", "Tree in danger", "Fire remains" and "Tree; burned residue".)

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