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Heather Michaels


I'm attaching a picture of a tree growing in my garden and hoping you can identify it for me please.  The tree is very tall, fully grown I guess, full of lush green leaves and full to bursting with clusters of orange berries. 

I hope the picture quality isn't too bad, it was very hard to get a picture of the tree from the ground with my mobile phone. 

Thank you in advance, Heather 


Rowan, sorbus acuparia, I would say



Certainly a Sorbus. The berries which are edible come from S. edulis. the ones on other types may be edible, but they are often very acidic and medicinal.



I find that freezing them first, before making into jelly, gets rid of the bitterness.  They don't have much pectin - this year I'm making a red currant and rown jelly as red currant has plenty of pectin 


Heather Michaels

Thank you all so much for your help with this. Confused though. Safe to eat/make jam with the berries or not?  Thanks again 

Yes, the fruits of the rowan can be made into jellies and jams (they are bitter when eaten raw). Therefore, if your tree is a rowan, you can use the berries.

Remember though that you cannot take any identifications on this website as absolute proof; they are just pointers to guide you to your own conclusion.

So you should check the identity using a good website ( here is an example ) 

I hope this helps.

Heather Michaels

PeterE17 thank you so much for this information. I've had a look through the site identification from the linik you attached here, it was so helpful. I'm 99% certain that it is a Rowan Sorbus but I'll need to pull a couple of leaf clusters to be sure. Now, if only I can figure out how the hell I reach it lol - its sooo tall and the leaves start so far off of the ground and the tree is also growing on the side of a bank so there's no reaching it from the other side, there's a 50 foot drop to the road! Now where did I put my crane?!



They're great for birds Heather. Very common up here in Scotland as the climate suits them-they're everywhere on our hills, gardens  and hedgerows. Laden with berries already. I've got quite  a few seedlings here in the garden which I'm keeping. 


In my opinion there are better things to make jelly out of.  It really needs to be mixed with apple as rowan berries are rather short on pectin.

Heather Michaels

Welshonion, was considering making Jelly with them as I've never tasted it before. Mixing it with apples I can do, have a lovely tree laden with almost ready to eat apples but unless I can persuade the birds to pick all the berries off of the tree and drop them for me its mission impossible lol its just tooo tall.

Fairygirl, now its laden with fruit its my favourite thing in the garden it looks so pretty. Not sure how common they are down here in Surrey to be honest, its been so long since I lived anywhere that had even any discernible trees that I think I've forgotten anything that I knew way back when, so much I can't identify but I'm sure I've never see a Rowan in fruit before so I'm loving that. And yes the birds do love them, they're all over the tree.  Happy Days


Heather, I realised I had never ever tasted rowan jelly ... to save time I contacted a Yorkshire Pantry (use a search engine for more details) and bought some by mail order. Like raw berries the jelly is bitter, but nicely so, and it can be eaten with cold meats, etc.

So if you cannot reach your berries, buy the jelly. If you like it, buy a ladder.

I am not affiliated to Yorkshire Pantry or any rowan jelly producer. There are also other sources but I have not tried them.

Walking in the local woods yesterday, the rowans were spectacular, a fine sight to behold.


Fabulous with lamb, venison,pheasant, rabbit .......

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