Mountain Ash and Whitebeam
Wild Service or Chequer Tree
Description: A medium-sized, fast growing deciduous tree with upright, sweeping branches, coated in deeply textured bark. As the tree ages, the rough young bark begins to crackle into vaguely rectangular scales that gradually flake off, creating a sort of chequered effect. Broad, pinnately lobed green leaves turn reddish-brown in autumn. Cream flowers in early summer, are followed by small brown fruits.
History: Native to Europe, Asia minor, and North Africa.
Sorbus Growing Tips: Grow in moderately fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil in full sun or light shade. Hardy and tolerant of urban pollution and coastal conditions.
Height and Spread (after 10 years): 5m x 3m