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Sorbus americana (American Mountain Ash)

American Mountain Ash, Dogberry, Roundwood

Sorbus americana, American Mountain Ash, Dogberry, Roundwood, Small Tree, Shrub, Red fruit, Red berries, Winter fruits, Fall Foliage
Sorbus americana, American Mountain Ash, Dogberry, Roundwood, Small Tree, Shrub, Red fruit, Red berries, Winter fruits, Fall Foliage

Sorbus americana (American Mountain Ash) is a small, densely-branched shrub or deciduous tree adorned with a short trunk and spreading, slender branches that form an open rounded crown. The elegant foliage of compound-pinnate, dark green leaves, 2-4 in. long (5-10 cm), with gray-green undersides, turns orange-yellow to reddish purple to red in the fall, before falling to the ground, revealing the smooth gray bark becoming scaly with age. In late spring, a profusion of tiny white flowers held in flat-topped clusters are produced. They are quickly followed by abundant clusters of showy, bright orange-red berries in late summer. The berries persist well after the leaves are gone, providing a welcoming feast for various types of weary, migrating birds.

American Mountain Ash is a magnet for a diverse array of bird species, including the American Robin, Baltimore Oriole, Black-Capped Chickadee, Blue Jay, Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing, and Eastern Bluebird. With its vibrant berries and inviting branches, American Mountain Ash provides essential food and shelter, enriching the ecosystem with avian activity.

Attractive in form, elegant in flower, and colorful in fruit and foliage, Sorbus americana stars in almost every season of the year.

  • Grows up to 10-30 ft. in height and spread (3-9 m).
  • A full sun lover, this tree is easily grown in acidic, moist, humus-rich, well-drained soils.
  • No routine pruning necessary. Prune if needed from late fall to early spring.
  • Keep an eye out for aphids, blister beetles, glasshouse red spider mite, scale insects, sawflies, silver leaf, honey fungus, fireblight.
  • Native to eastern North America.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 6
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Rosaceae
Genus Sorbus
Common names Dogberry, Ash
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 10' - 30'
(3m - 9.1m)
Spread 10' - 30'
(3m - 9.1m)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maryland, New York, Maine, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Small Gardens
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Sorbus intermedia (Swedish Whitebeam)
Sorbus torminalis (Wild Service Tree)
Sorbus thibetica ‘John Mitchell’ (Tibetan Whitebeam)
Sorbus aucuparia (European Mountain Ash)
Sorbus pseudohupehensis ‘Pink Pagoda’ (Chinese Mountain Ash)
Sorbus aria ‘Lutescens’ (Whitebeam)

Recommended Companion Plants

Euonymus planipes (Spindle Tree)
Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ (Feather Reed Grass)
Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Arendsii’ (Monkshood)
Japanese Anemones

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Small Trees and Shrubs That Attract Birds
Green Canopy, Better World: Exploring the Benefits of Trees
Trees that Invite Wildlife to Your Garden
Spectacular Trees for Vibrant Fall Colors: A Gardener’s Guide
Native Plant Alternatives to Sorbus aucuparia (European Mountain Ash)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 6
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Rosaceae
Genus Sorbus
Common names Dogberry, Ash
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 10' - 30'
(3m - 9.1m)
Spread 10' - 30'
(3m - 9.1m)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maryland, New York, Maine, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Small Gardens
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Sorbus (Rowan)
Guides with
Sorbus (Rowan)
Not sure which Sorbus (Rowan) to pick?
Compare Now

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