I am considering a Rowan tree in our front garden.
Which kind produces the strongest and nicest looking red berries ? I realise there are European and Asian sub species.
Can anyone recommend where I can find a strong healthy one.
I would avoid some of the developed cultivars. 'Joseph Rock' is prone to disease, 'Chinese Lace' doesn't colour very well in autumn, Sorbus hupehensis (now 'Pink Pagoda), has pink fruits and is ok. I would go with the native sorbus aucuparia. It's tough, berries as well as any of the other species and cultivars and is a magnet for thrushes (different species) in winter. However, thin chalky soils aren't the best for it, Very happy on extremely acid sites like the New Forest and several places in Scotland. Two cultivars of it are 'Streetwise;, with orange berries and 'Sheerwater Seedling'. Both are prolific with fruit production in good years, like their parent, but more upright in habit. Any good tree nursery, especially one which has that neutral to acid soil where the trees are grown.
Last edited: 08 January 2017 08:24:29
You can't beat the native rowan. As H-c says, it's happy on neutral soil as well as acidic, and copes with anything the weather throws at it. It wouldn't survive on our hillsides up here if it didn't.
what it doesn't like is stiff, hard, dry, alkaline soil in full sun and prevailing wind. Just ask mine how it feels out there.
Last edited: 08 January 2017 10:37:06
Nut, I feel for your tree!
nut - I should have asked the OP that - if it's an area of low rainfall and dry soil, it might not be too happy!
My excuse is I was young(er), ignorant, and given a free rowan.
Thanks for the advice. I have a new build home and the builders have left us a mess of a garden. I have dug out most of the rubble, concrete bits and added new soil in a South Facing front garden. I think I will add a root barrier as the tree will be on the edge of a front lawn 10 feet from the front of the house. Hopefully the Rowan will do well and the local thrushes and other birds will love the additional berries next winter.
If your front garden is limited in space, a Rowan which doesn't grow too big and has red berries is Sorbus sargentiana. It has large leaves [for a Rowan] that turn fiery red in autumn. Individual berries are small and red, but there are lots of berries in each panicle.