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SORBUS decora

Image of Sorbus decora

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

SORBUS decora

Plant Common Name

Northern Mountain Ash

General Description

A striking sight in late summer when its branches are laden with large dense clusters of orange fruit, this large shrub or small tree from Greenland and northeastern North America is also worth growing for its handsome ferny foliage. Divided into 11 to 17 toothed, lance-shaped leaflets, the feathery deciduous leaves are bluish green before turning rust or yellowish tones in fall. Flattish heads of fetid white flowers open in late spring, giving rise to blueberry-sized fruits which ripen to red before being consumed by birds in fall. Upright, weak-wooded, and rather open-growing, this plant often retains branches close to the ground.

Grow this cold-hardy mountain ash in moderately fertile non-alkaline soil and full sun for best form, fruiting and fall color. In the warmest parts of its hardiness range a bit of shade is recommended. Use it in a shrub border or wildlife planting or as a lawn specimen.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    6 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 6

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    18'-25' / 5.5m - 7.6m

  • Width

    12'-15' / 3.7m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, North-Central United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes