The Showy Mountain Ash is fast growing and often planted as an ornamental due to its lovely flowers and delicious berries. Birds are the main disperser of the seeds of this Ash species.
The berries provide essential winter food for many birds and mammals as they persist on the branches above snow during the harsh winter months.
It is interesting to note that when both native and introduced mountain ash species are present birds will eat the fruit of the native tree first.
Another interesting fact is that when the berries have fermented, groups of drunken birds have been reported.
The Showy Mountain Ash is a small tree, growing up to 9, sometimes 15 m high. The trunk is up to 25 cm in diameter, straight and branch free. Bark of the Showy Mountain Ash is can be greyish-green or golden-brown and becomes scaly with age.
Leaves of the Showy Mountain Ash are about 20 cm long numbering from 13-17 per leaflet. They are also finely toothed and slightly hairy when young.
8-10 mm berries are shiny red and appear in rounded clusters with many fruits in each. They become mature in late summer and persist through winter and are an important source of food for wildlife, particularly birds in the winter and early spring.
Info source: http://www.uoguelph.ca/arboretum/thingstosee/trees/showymountainash.shtml
Genus - Sorbus
Species - Decora
Common name - Showy Mountain Ash
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 2 - 9
Height - 20-30' (6-9 m)
Spread - 15-20' (4,60-6 m)
Plant type - Tree or Shrub
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Sun, partial shade
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline (pH 5.1-7.8)
Soil type - Sandy, loamy, clay, well drained
Water requirements - Average Water, water regularly, do not overwater
Landscape uses - Fast growing and often planted as an ornamental due to its lovely flowers and delicious berries
Germination rate - 75%
Bloom season - Late Spring - Early Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White, near White
|Germination||1. Soak the seeds overnight in warm water. Mix the seeds with just a little bit moist vermiculite or moist sterile soil. Place the seeds in airtight plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator for at least two months. |
2. Sow 1 mm deep in the soil and keep moist in bright and warm place till the germination.
2. Select a planting site for seeds outside in full sun, as they do not tolerate shade. This tree prefers fertile soil, but can tolerate poor soil. Mix sufficient peat moss into the soil to lower its pH to between 4.7 and 6.0.
3. Scatter the seeds thinly over the planting site in early fall or winter. Press the seeds lightly onto the soil without covering them.
4. Water the seeds with 1 to 2 inches of water per week, beginning after the last expected frost. The seedlings require consistently moist soil while growing, and the mature trees do not tolerate drought.
Seedlings do not generally require special protection from insects or disease.(source: ehow.com)