Sorbus torminalis

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Key information

Plant type

Deciduous tree

Flower colour



Autumn colour



Skill level


photo by FhF Greenmedia, copyright GAP Photos (198640)

Plant details

A tall suckering tree, with a pointed crown, it has early white summer flowers followed by a few, small brown nuts. The maple-like leaves are glossy dark green on the top side, and turn bronze-yellow in autumn. The flaky grey bark keeps cracking and peeling away, which is why it is also known as the chequer tree. Before the introduction of hops, the berries were used to flavour beer. In the wild it often indicates the site of an ancient woodland. It prefers rich, damp, well-drained soil but tolerates lighter, poorer ground.

Family: Rosaceae

Genus: Sorbus

Species: torminalis

Plant type: Deciduous tree

Flower colour: White

Foliage colour: Grey

Feature: Autumn colour

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 2500cm

Spread: 1500cm

Time to plant: October to February

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