European Mountain Ash
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Turn your backyard into a diner for songbirds with European Mountain Ash! Robins and cedar waxwings in particular are fond of the brilliant orange berries that will grace your tree each summer and fall, though other birds will also want to get in on the action. We can think of no better way to de-stress before or after work than to sit on the deck watching the birds flit from branch to branch as they feed. Plant this pretty ornamental tree with other bird favorites like Autumn Brilliance® Serviceberry, Gray Dogwood, Flowering Dogwood, Winter King Hawthorn, and Crabapple to keep the avian restaurant open all year long.
- Hardiness Zone: 3-6
- Spacing: 20-25'
- Exposure: Full Sun
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European Mountain Ash is not an Ash at all—it only has Ash-like leaves. It’s actually in the Rose family and is more closely related to Apples, Pears, and Cherries than to Ash. This tree is native to most of Europe and has a long history in folklore there. In Scandinavian mythology, a Mountain Ash saved Thor from drowning in a river. In the U.K., where it’s called “Rowan,” this tree has long been considered a guardian of the house, able to ward off evil spirits and break witches’ spells.
A berry, berry handsome tree, indeed! And not just because of its marvelous red-orange berries that appear in late summer. You'll love the white flowers in spring that nestle like powder puffs in the dark green leaves. In the fall, the leaves provide a rich red and bronze background for the berries.
How to Grow
The cooler the summer, the happier this tree is. In New England, a European Mountain Ash may thrive for 50 to 80 years. In the South, its life will almost certainly be cut short. It is also sensitive to salty or wet soils. In all other respects, however, Mountain Ash is a fighter, having no problem with wind, shade, drought, clay soil, sandy soil, frigid winters, or snow cover. Many songbirds love its berries, so plant this tree near a window so you can watch them feast in winter.
Questions & Answers
Q: We have a 5-6 year old Mountain Ash tree in our front yard. It gets full sun and plenty of water, but every time we get any winds, the tree practically gets uprooted. During high winds we have to tie it down. When it isn't windy, we take the ties off. Is there something we can do to make it more rooted? We live in central Michigan. Thanks!
A: Hello! Thank you for your question!
After review your situation with our Growers, they believe you have the European Mountain Ash variety. Unfortunately, that variety is notoriously weak rooted. In addition, chances are, based off of your location, your soil is either a heavy clay soil or very sandy soil - both of those are not very conducive to root growth.
I'm afraid there is no 'magic solution' that will make your issue go away, but we do have an idea for something that may help. What my Growers recommend you do is to stake your Tree with three 2'' thick metal pipes. You are going to want to get them in the ground as deep as you can - make sure there is no wiggling from those poles. When you attach the poles to your Tree, you will want to make sure there is some wiggle room there. Allowing your Tree to move a little in the wind will encourage root growth in order to stabilize the Tree.
We would also recommend that you fertilize with the Bower & Branch Organic Elements Fertilizer - our product is designed to build a strong soil environment, which will increase the availability of nutrients and the ability of the Tree to use them.
If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Thank you & good luck =)
This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.
Size B Trees:
8-10' tall. Grown in our #15 tree container with caliper near 1 1/2". Well developed branching and form.
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