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Choice of Sorbus

I have a small garden. I took out an 8ft pear tree in autumn (gave up after years of battling rust then pear midge) and want to replace with a Rowan. I’m considering all the varieties and can see a lot of info on colour and height but less on shape. I want something with a light and not too wide canopy as don’t want to create too much shade. Native looks quite dense. Autumn spire may be too columnar. I’m looking for a small to medium height variety. Any suggestions? 

Posts

  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 1,096
    Hi @becgray1,

    I grow a number of sorbus ... but probably Sheerwater Seedling might suit your situation.

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/89018/sorbus-aucuparia-sheerwater-seedling/details

    Bee x


    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,002
    The native ones aren't dense in my experience. Most of the named varieties have pretty  light canopies IMO.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • PlantmindedPlantminded Wirral (free draining sandy soil)Posts: 1,740
    Hi there, try Joseph Rock, ideal for a small garden with stunning autumn colour.  It is upright and neat.  You can "raise the crown" by removing the lower branches as it gets older to allow more light into your garden - I do this on all the trees in my garden, including two varieties of Sorbus.  The tree's ultimate size will depend on how you choose to prune it, the quality of your soil and its position in your garden.  From my experience they are undemanding but rewarding trees.  Birds love their berries.

    Sorbus Joseph Rock | Buy Yellow Berried Mountain Ash Trees (ornamental-trees.co.uk)


  • Thanks so much everyone. Sheer water seedling looks great @Bee witched and I love foliage of Joseph rock @Plantminded though undecided on yellow berries. I’ve been tempted by cashmeriana and hupehensis since seeing a lovely white berried tree a few weeks ago. Do either of you have experience of these varieties shapes? Like the idea of the blueish leaves on hupehensis 
  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 1,096
    I do grow Hupehensis here.
    I like the white berries .... the birds seem to leave them until very late in the winter.

    However, the growth on mine is sprawling and untidy.
    I gave it a severe shaping prune last year ... so fingers crossed it starts to look lovely.

    Bee x
    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Wirral (free draining sandy soil)Posts: 1,740
    Cashmeriana is a lovely tree too, particularly the fine green leaves during the growing season.  It has less impressive autumn colour than Joseph Rock though. The berries are white and attractive but largely untouched by birds.  It's a smaller tree than the others mentioned above. 

    Personally I would try to view a mature specimen in situ before deciding.  Is there a botanic garden or RHS garden nearby that you could visit?  A trip to a specialist tree nursery's another good place to look.  It's worth taking time to decide on such an important addition to your garden.  
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 7,110
    ...this is a recently planted Sorbus vilmorinii .. they're not cheap... it's about 6 foot 6 planted, grafted tree..   this variety will never get in anyone's way and remains compact and upright.. I've also grown it on the south coast in full sun..   autumn colours and berries that change colour from crimson to pink, to white. 



    I've also grown Cashmiriana and Joseph Rock which I prefer if I had more space, as it does grow larger in time, but that's a long time..
    The problem with Cashmiriana I found was that it comes into leafage very early in Spring, which is nice, and the foliage is beautiful, but it defoliates early and was leafless by mid September... also the white berries didn't hang around too long in my garden at the time.. so I regarded that as a negative.

  • Marlorena said:
    ...this is a recently planted Sorbus vilmorinii .. they're not cheap... it's about 6 foot 6 planted, grafted tree..   this variety will never get in anyone's way and remains compact and upright.. I've also grown it on the south coast in full sun..   autumn colours and berries that change colour from crimson to pink, to white. 



    I've also grown Cashmiriana and Joseph Rock which I prefer if I had more space, as it does grow larger in time, but that's a long time..
    The problem with Cashmiriana I found was that it comes into leafage very early in Spring, which is nice, and the foliage is beautiful, but it defoliates early and was leafless by mid September... also the white berries didn't hang around too long in my garden at the time.. so I regarded that as a negative.

    I went for the vilmorinii in the end. Couldn’t resist the changing colour of the berries and felt like it would get to about the right size. Similar size to the one in your pic. Hope i get flowers and berries in first couple of years even if it isn’t very big yet thanks for advice 
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