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Sorbus aucuparia

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Tree

Habit

Bushy

Origin

Native to the UK

Toxicity

Resilience

Hardiness

H7 (very hardy)

Colour

Flower

White in Spring

Foliage

Green in Spring and Summer
Yellow in Autumn

Fruit

Orange and Red in Autumn

Size

Ultimate height

Higher than 12 metres

Ultimate spread

4-8 metres

Time to ultimate height

20-50 years


Preferred common name

rowan

Family

Rosaceae


Sorbus can be deciduous trees or shrubs with simple or pinnate leaves and clusters of small white or pink flowers, followed by white, yellow, pink, red or brown berries; some have fine autumn colour

S. aucuparia is an upright deciduous tree with pinnate leaves turning yellow in autumn, and flat clusters of white flowers in late spring, followed by orange-red berries in early autumn

Other common names

  • European mountain ash
  • mountain ash
  • quickbeam
  • rantry
  • ranty
  • roan
  • rowanberry

Synonym(s)

  • Sorbus rehderiana misapplied

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, humus-rich soil. Tolerant of atmospheric pollution; ideal specimen tree in small garden, wild or woodland garden

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid or Neutral
  • Loam or Sand

Propagation

Propagate by seed, softwood cuttings or grafting

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Low Maintenance or Wildlife Gardens


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

May be attacked by aphids, blister mites and sawflies

Diseases

May be affected by a canker, silver leaf and fireblight