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European Mountain Ash   arrow

Sorbus aucuparia (sor’-bus aw-kew-pay’-ree-a)
Family: Rosaceae, Rose

Key Steps


European Mountain Ash leafLeaf: Leaflet: 9-19, small, each 3/4 to 2 1/2 inches long. Toothed margin upper 2/3 of leaflet. Lower 1/2 margin may be smooth. Oval shaped, short, pointed tip. May be hairy. Leaf 5-7 inches long.

Bud: Terminal buds are long (over 1/4 inch), tapered, pointed at end, slightly twisted. Scales open up to expose grayish-white hairs. The hairyness give the bud the appearance of a rabbit’s foot. Lateral buds are smaller, reddish-brown.

Leaf Scar: Narrow, raised, V-shaped. 5 bundle scars.

Stem: Reddish-brown, woolly, light lenticels.

Bark: Shiny, orange-brown, very attractive.

Pith: 5-sided or roundish, brown, continuous.

Flower: 5 creamy white petals in May. Large, upright, flat-topped clusters, 4-6 inches wide.

Fruit: Large clusters of bright reddish-orange, 1/4 inch diameter berries.

Habit: Small ornamental tree. Upright, oval. 25 feet tall by 14 feet wide. Short-lived (20-30 years).

Culture: Moderate moisture requirement. Full sun. Prone to fireblight.

Sorbus scopulina — Colorado native in cool ravines from foothills to sub-alpine zones. Multi-stemmed shrub or small tree.