Position and pruning of Sorbus aria 'Lutescens'

We have two trees in our back garden that I am fairly sure are Sorbus aria Lutescens. They are about 12 years old and have reached a height of approx. 20 feet.

They have been planted on the boundary of our garden and very close to a tall, dense hedge of very mature trees, which we trim when they start encroaching onto our garden. Because of this hedge, our Sorbus aria trees have all their branches growing out over our garden and nothing on the other side that faces the hedge.

In order to give the trees a symetrical shape and to reduce their height and width, I would like to prune them. Ideally this would be into a small round or oval shape, but I am unsure how and when to do this. Also, the trees rarely flower and produce berries. They did so last year but not this. Could it be the effect of the trees behind them?

Thank you for reading this far and I hope someone has some suggestions for me.


  • Abby2Abby2 Posts: 101

    I pruned mine in Nov/Dec last year and it seemed fine.  My tree hasn't produced any flowers or berries this year but is only 3 yrs old so that could be why.  Hopefully someone with a more mature tree will come along with some advice.  They are such lovely trees but I'll admit mine has looked a bit sorry for itself the latter end of the season with leaves coming off early - maybe didn't like the weather!

  • Hi, my tree is is about 12 yrs old too.In pruning, I have only removed lower branches in late winter and they have healed well. My tree does not regularly flower and produce fruit. Two years ago it produced 1 bunch of flowers and no fruit. Last year it produced both and was covered in both flowers and fruit all over - the first time this has happened.This year it produced neither! I can see no rhyme or reason  for the production or otherwise of flowers/fruit and usually look at other white beams locally to see how they are performing.

  • Thanks for the responses. I think I will bit the bullet and prune by about a third.

    Daintiness, I wonder whether it was something to do with the weather conditions last year that made our trees flower so well.

  • Hi Chaconia, I wonder too....let's see what the winter and spring bring!

  • Norma18Norma18 Posts: 1

    Our 10 year old Sorbus ari Lutescens is looking very poorly with nearly all the leaves crinkly and falling off and this is only August!  I believe there is some disease which can wipe out this tree, but not sure what it is.  It is positioned alongside a small Yew tree, variegated holly bush and laurel plus a silver birch tree, all next to our front garden hedge.  

    Should we remove it or leave it till next spring to see if it comes back to life again?

  • DaintinessDaintiness Posts: 949

    Hi. Since I last posted on this thread my tree has died. Verticillium wilt was the cause. Parts of the tree completely died back and I sent pictures to RHS for diagnosis.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,237

    I have 4 Sorbus aria, though not 'Lutescens' One is crispy, the rest are not. I've seen this before with trees at this time of year and so far they're all recovered.

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