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American MountainashSorbus americana

  • American Mountainash - Sorbus americana
  • American Mountainash - Sorbus americana
  • American Mountainash - Sorbus americana
  • American Mountainash - Sorbus americana
  • American Mountainash - Sorbus americana

The American mountainash is a delightful little tree—whether in a yard, a park or a forest setting. The showy spring flowers, vibrant clusters of berries and amazing fall color make it a great landscape choice for the colder regions. And bird enthusiasts flock to this tree, as the berries attract many different types of birds.

Hardiness Zones

The american mountainash can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 2–5. View Map

Tree Type

This tree is considered both a flowering tree and an ornamental tree. It is typically planted for both its visual interest and profusion of spring flowers.

Mature Size

The American mountainash grows to a height of 10–30' and a spread of around 15' at maturity.

Growth Speed Slow Growth Rate

This tree grows at a slow rate, with height increases of less than 12" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun and partial shade are best for this tree, meaning it prefers a minimum of 4 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The American mountainash grows in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, wet and clay soils.


This tree:
  • Produces showy white flowers that are somewhat fragrant in late spring or early summer.
  • Puts on a spectacular fall show, with foliage turning yellow, orange and reddish-purple.
  • Features leaves up to 12" long with 11-17 leaflets that are oblong or spear-shaped and 1½–4" in length.
  • Yields clusters of small, red or orange-red fruit that are berry-like and approximately 3/8" in diameter. They ripen into very showy fruit in autumn and persist into the winter.
  • Grows in an oval shape.
  • Is easy to grow and generally carefree.

Wildlife Value

This tree is an important source of food for many small birds and mammals including catbirds, thrushes and waxwings. Other wildlife attracted to the tree include butterflies, bees and larger mammals such as moose. The fruit persists through winter and has been known to intoxicate birds after it ferments in a few fall frosts.


The American mountainash was first cultivated in 1811. The bark was used as an anti-malarial medicine by pioneer doctors because of its close resemblance to the quinine tree.

This tree has been referred to as a variety of different names in literature: Rowantree, rowan berry, roundwood, mountain sumac, winetree, dogberry, service tree, wild ash, quickbeam, life-of-man, Indian mozemize, missey-moosey and mose-misse.