Showy Mountain Ash Care – Can You Grow A Showy Mountain Ash Tree

Showy Mountain Ash Tree
(Image credit: Diana Sklarova)

Showy mountain ash trees (Sorbus decora), also known as northern mountain ash, are small American natives and, as their name suggests, very ornamental. If you read up on showy mountain ash information, you’ll find that the trees flower profusely, produce attractive berries, and offer a stunning fall display. Growing showy mountain ash isn’t difficult if you live in a cooler climate. Read on for tips on showy mountain ash care.

Showy Mountain Ash Information

While ash trees grow very tall in cool and moderate hardiness zones, mountain ash are much smaller. They are not in the same genus as ash trees and are native to the northern states. Showy mountain ash trees grow to about 30 feet (9 m.) tall and about half to three-quarters that wide. Their branches grow in an ascending direction and start from very low on the trunk. If you start growing showy mountain ash, you will love the blossoms and berries. The showy white flowers appear in late spring or early summer. They are fragrant and attract pollinators. These are followed by heavy clusters of bright berries in autumn that are appreciated by many types of wild birds. The berries from showy mountain ash trees are also eaten by small and large mammals, including humans.

Can You Grow a Showy Mountain Ash?

So, can you grow a showy mountain ash? It depends first on where you live. These are trees that require a cool climate and only thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 5. If you are ready to start growing showy mountain ash, look for a full-sun site for planting. These trees do not tolerate shade. Planting the trees in an appropriate site is a big part of showy mountain ash care. These natives do not tolerate pollution, drought, heated areas, compacted soil, salt, or flooding. If you select an area free of these issues, your showy mountain ash tree will have a good chance of thriving.

Showy Mountain Ash Care

Once you have planted these trees in a good location, care is not difficult. Provide these trees regular irrigation, especially during the year or so after transplant. Never fertilize showy mountain ash trees. Fertilizer is generally not recommended for any native trees. You may want to keep an eye out for pests. Although mountain ash isn’t attacked by the emerald ash borer, they can get fire blight disease. Look for help if the branch tips suddenly turn black and droop.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.