Rowan - which is best?
The Bird Lady Posts: 188
I want to replace an old dead Cherry Tree stump with a Rowan so that the birds can have the berries. I don't want an enormous great tree, is there a more compact version? Red berries are preferable. We are on the South coast.
If the soil's on the acid side, great, but they're pretty tolerant of most soil types. I'd go for ordinary sorbus aucuparia, common rowan. We had this discussion a few weeks back and the other varieties, although each pretty for foliage or berry colour, can't match the native species for reliability - hardiness and berry.
We're on chalk down here.
Thanks for your response.
I find they are not very good on heavy clay; the roots don't like it that wet, IMO.
Go for red berries which are preferred by birds.
I'm beginning to think I need something else - Rowan's can grow quite large and I just want something that it quite compact. More research needed!
I think that would be wise. Not happiest on chalk.
In the sticks near Peterborough
There's a list of trees suited to chalk on this page which may help you in your research:
Rowan eventually get big but are actually fairly slow growing. What about a crab apple, not too big, maybe 5m x 4m and plenty of fruit for the birds. If you are really really lucky you could even get Waxwings. Another possibility could be Amelanchier.
If you still want a Rowan, you need look no further than Sorbus vilmorinii, as a very small tree for your purposes. It will grow on chalk. Despite the description here on this link, I didn't find it hard to grow. I had it on clay, full sun on the south coast, where a silver birch had grown previously. It will never outgrow its welcome or get in yours or anyone else's way...
BobtheGardener - Thanks for the link, very interesting.
Marlorena - Thank you very much for that - do the birds eat the berries?