Korean Mountain Ash
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On behalf of your local bird population, we urge you to plant a Korean Mountain Ash! When this uncommon tree’s orange-red berries ripen in your yard, songbirds from across the Tri-County Area will flock to the buffet. Cedar waxwings are especially fond of the berries. Plant this moderately fast-growing ornamental tree where you’ll have a good view of it from your porch, deck, patio, or living room window—and not only because of the fruits. Korean Mountain Ash will also wow you with snow-white blossoms in spring, peachy-gold foliage in fall, and smooth, silvery bark all year long. For Northern gardens, this gem is a largely undiscovered treasure!
- Hardiness Zone: 4-7
- Spacing: 20-25'
- Exposure: Full Sun
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The Korean Mountain Ash is a tree with hard, even-grained wood, and in its native lands (Korea, of course, but also Japan and China), it has been used for making furniture and mallet heads. In Russia, it has been fashioned into rulers. The Western World probably first learned of the tree via German nurseryman Franz Ludwig Spaeth in 1892. Spaeth Nursery was the oldest of its time, and young Franz made it also the largest. He inherited 20 acres at the age of 25 and turned it into 2,000.
Foliage, flowers and fruit - the three "F's" needed for any tree destined to be a spectacular addition to your garden! New leaves appear in light green shades and later darken to a deeper green throughout summer. During fall the leaves transform into shades of yellow, orange and golden brown. White flowers accompany the light green foliage in spring and orangish-red berries accompany the fall colored foliage. This is one tree you can't miss!
How to Grow
This tree is fairly easy to grow, with a few conditions: it doesn’t like pollution, salt, flooding, or hot summers. In a residential planting in New England or the Upper Midwest, this tree will shine. In a stressful urban site or in the South, it will struggle. Korean Mountain Ash is not an Ash, but more like a Crabapple. Like Crabapples, it can contract diseases like fireblight and scab, though healthy, well cared-for trees are unlikely to succumb. It naturally grows into a pleasing, symmetrical shape and rarely needs pruning.
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