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Sorbus torminalis

wild service tree

S. torminalis is a spreading deciduous tree to 25m, with broad, pinnately lobed leaves that turn reddish-brown in autumn, and cream flowers in early summer, followed by small brown fruits

Other common names
checker tree
checkers
see morechequer tree
chequers
griping tree
sorb

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Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
Wider than 8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer White Green
Autumn Brown Red Brown
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or North–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Rosaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Sorbus can be deciduous trees or shrubs with simple or pinnate leaves and clusters of small white or pink flowers, followed by white, yellow, pink, red or brown berries; some have fine autumn colour

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe, Africa, Asia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, humus-rich soil. Tolerant of atmospheric pollution and dry conditions

Propagation

Propagate by seed, softwood cuttings or grafting

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Low Maintenance
Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

May be attacked by aphids and blister mites

Diseases

May be affected by silver leaf and fireblight

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