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Sorbus aucuparia
Sorbus aucuparia

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Zones A1-A3, 1-10, 14-17, 34-43
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Sorbus aucuparia

European Mountain Ash
Deciduous, Trees, Decorative fruit or berries


These natives of mountainous areas are valued for their showy flowers and showier fruit. Blossoms are grouped in broad, flat clusters that are scattered over the foliage canopy in spring; they develop into hanging clusters of small, berrylike fruit that colors up in late summer or early fall. Most species have red or orange-red fruit, but white, pink, and golden forms are occasionally available. Birds feed on the fruit, but usually not until after the leaves have fallen. Foliage is typically finely cut and somewhat fernlike, though some less widely planted species have undivided leaves. Some mountain ashes have good fall color. Plants need good, well-drained soil and some winter chill. Cankers are a problem for trees under stress. Watch for fireblight. Good small garden or street trees, though the fruit can make a mess on paved surfaces.

Sorbus aucuparia

Tree, native to Europe to western Asia and Siberia; naturalized in North America. Grows to 20–40 ft. tall (or taller) and 15–25 ft. wide. Sharply rising branches form a dense, oval to round crown. Leaves are 5–9 in. long, with 9–15 leaflets; they are dull green above, gray green below, turning tawny yellow to reddish in autumn. Orange-red fruit.

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