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Sorbus 'Leonard Messel'
  • RHS AGM

mountain ash 'Leonard Messel'

'Leonard Messel' is a small, ball-headed tree that should reach 3m tall in 10 years. Pinnate leaves, that show good autumn colour, are borne on upright branches. Pretty clusters of pink hanging fruit follow the white flowers in late spring and early summer. Winter buds are red

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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring White Green
Summer White Green Pink
Autumn Orange Red Pink
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

West–facing or East–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Rosaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Raw fruit can cause mild stomach upset if ingested. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling
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

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Prefers soils that do not dry out. Adaptable to many soil types, but shows best autumn colour on chalk. Grow in sun or light shade. Ideal tree for small gardens

Propagation

Propagate by softwood cuttings in early summer, by chip budding in summer or grafting in winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
Pruning

If pruning is required, only make cuts in summer to protect against disease

Pests

Generally trouble-free

Diseases

Susceptible to fireblight and honey fungus

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