Sorbus americana (American Mountain Ash)


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Sorbus americana (American Mountain Ash) Seeds

Zone: 3 to 6.

Native to eastern North America.

The American mountain ash or Rowan tree is a small ornamental tree with an open rounded crown.

Foliage consists of alternate, compound, odd-pinnate leaflets that are lanceolate or long oval, 3 inches (7 cm) long and 0.75 inches (2 cm) broad. In late spring to early summer it produces flat-topped clusters of small white flowers. It bears clusters of small berry-like coral orange to red fruit in autumn that persists on the tree through winter. Bark is smooth and grey-brown on young trees, becoming more rough on mature trees.

The American mountain ash is a good choice for smaller properties since it does not exceed 40 feet. Its flowers and attractive fruit give it ornamental characteristics in all seasons. The showy fruit is attractive to many birds, including American robins, thrushes, waxwings. It does well in full sun or part shade in average, well-drained soils, although it prefers cool, moist acid soil.

Size: Height 15 to 30 ft; Width 15 to 25 ft.

Germination Instructions

Soak seeds for 24 hours and drain.

Stratification: Seed requires 150 days cold moist stratification at 3° C (37° F) to 5° C (41° F).

  1. Soak seeds in water for 24 hours.
  2. Place seeds in sandwich bag(s), with a bit of damp sand or vermiculite to keep moist.
  3. Place the bag(s) with seeds in refrigerator for about 150 days.
  4. After the required time take the seeds out of the refrigerator and sow the seeds in pots 1/16 inch deep and cover lightly. Water gently so as not to wash away the seeds. Keep soil moist but not wet.