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Sorbus aucuparia

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
SOR-bus awk-yoo-PAR-ee-uh
Description

Sorbus aucuparia, or European Mountain Ash, is a small, deciduous tree, often multi-trunked and low-branching, that grows to 40 feet. It has an erect, oval form when young, becoming a slender trunk with branches curving upwards as the tree ages. It is often short-lived; is not heat tolerant; and dislikes compacted soil. As the common name suggests, this is a tree of cool mountain climates that dislikes hot and humid summers, and will not grow well south of USDA Zones 5-6. On the plus side, however, it does flower in late May and fruits in late summer to early fall. The fruits are a good food source for birds and the fall foliage of yellow to reddish-purple leaves adds to the attractiveness of the tree.. 

The European Mountain Ash grows best in moist, acidic, well-drained soils in full sun. It is widely planted in northern North America as an ornamental and has naturalized in some parts of Canada and the northern U.S. Mountain ashes have ash-like leaves, but are members of the rose family, and are not related to true ashes (Fraxinus), which are in the olive family.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems

Bacterial fireblight can be a severe problem, causing scorched leaves at the branch ends. Scab can cause significant defoliation. Cankers, crown gall, powdery mildew and rust may also occur. Insect visitors include aphids, sawfly, scale and borers. Stressed trees are particularly vulnerable to borers and cankers.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#contorted trunk#deciduous#fall color#white flowers#wildlife plant#tree#edible tree#bird friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#contorted trunk#deciduous#fall color#white flowers#wildlife plant#tree#edible tree#bird friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sorbus
    Species:
    aucuparia
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Western Asia and Europe
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruits attract birds.
    Edibility:
    The fruit is processed into an alcoholic drink, juice, and vinegar used medicinally and stewed into a tea.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 20 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 8 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Oval
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Pome
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are small, berry-like pomes, 1/3 of an inch in diameter, bright red-orange.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    Colored Sepals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Inflorescence is in terminal corymbs, to 6 inches long. Flowers are white and foetid.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are 5 to 9 inches long, with 9-15 leaflets. The base serrate from middle upward, and entire in the lower third. Foliage provides good color in the fall.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Scaly
    Bark Description:
    When young, the bark of young trees is light gray, smooth to slightly rough-textured, and speckled with flattened white lenticels (air pores). The older trees is dark gray, rough-textured, fissured, and slightly scaly.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Branching is strongly upright and spreading.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Attracts:
    Songbirds