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Mountainash, American Sorbus americana

American Mountainash - Sorbus americana
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This small native tree's dark green leaves turn yellow, orange and reddish-purple in the fall. Showy white spring flowers are followed by large clusters of flame-red, berry-like fruit loved by birds. Likes acidic soil with good drainage, full sun to light shade. Grows to 10'–30'.

Pricing Information

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Zones 2 - 5 Zones 2 - 5
Hardiness Zones 2 - 5
The American Mountainash can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Flowering Tree Flowering Tree
Type of tree
Flowering Trees, Ornamental Trees
10' - 30' High 10' - 30' High
Mature Height
The American Mountainash grows to be 10' - 30' feet in height.
15' Spread 15' Spread
Mature Spread
The American Mountainash has a spread of about 15' at full maturity.
Slow Growth Slow Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a slow growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
Sun
This mountainash does well in full sun, partial shade.
Various Soils Various Soils
Soil
The American Mountainash grows in acidic, loamy, sandy, well drained, wet, clay soils.
Oval Shape Oval Shape
Shape
This mountainash has oval shape.
Attributes

Spectacular fall foliage. The fruit provides winter food for birds.

Description

This small native tree's dark green leaves turn yellow, orange and reddish-purple in the fall. Showy white spring flowers are followed by large clusters of flame-red, berry-like fruit loved by birds. Likes acidic soil with good drainage, full sun to light shade. Grows to 10'–30'.

Wildlife Value

The American Mountainash is an important source of food for many small birds and mammals including catbirds, thrushes and waxwings. Fruits persist through winter.

History/Lore/Use

First cultivated in 1811. The Mountain Ash is a northern tree that is a true plastic taxon inasmuch as it will interbreed with other families of trees and plants including the great rose family. The fruit has been known to intoxicate birds. Also known as the Rowantree because it resembles the European Rowantree. The bark was used as a anti-malarial medicine by pioneer doctors because of its close resemblance to the Quininetree. It was also believed to be powerful in exorcising witches by the early settlers and was known as Witchwood.

Moisture

Well drained

Leaves

Alternate, compound 6–10" long, 11-17 lance-shaped, dark green, 2–2 1/2" leaflets. Fall colors are yellow, orange and reddish-purple.

Flower Color

White flowers

Bloom Time

Spring

Fruit Description

Orange-red, 1/4", berry-like fruit in large clusters that persist in winter.