The Rowan, also known as Sorbus aucuparia, is a small tree that is native to much of Europe, including the British Isles. It is also found in parts of Asia and North America. The tree typically grows to be about 10-20 feet tall, with a spread of about 15-25 feet. It has a round crown and a straight trunk, and the bark is smooth and gray.
The leaves of the Rowan are oval-shaped and have serrated edges. They are glossy green on the upper surface and pale green on the underside. In the fall, the leaves turn yellow or orange before falling off. The tree also produces clusters of white or cream-colored flowers in the spring, which are followed by small, red berries in the fall.
The Rowan grows best in full sun to partial shade and prefers well-drained, moist soil. It is adaptable to a variety of soil types and is drought-tolerant once established. The tree is hardy in USDA zones 3-7, meaning it can withstand winter temperatures down to -30 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The berries of the Rowan are edible and can be eaten fresh or used to make jams, jellies, and other preserves. They are also high in vitamin C and can be used to make a natural fruit juice. The berries can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks after harvest.
The Rowan has many uses beyond its edible berries. The wood of the tree is hard and durable and has been used for many centuries to make tools and weapons. It is also often used as a decorative wood in furniture and other crafts. The tree has long been associated with magic and is said to have protective properties. In many cultures, it is considered to be a symbol of good luck and protection.
In the landscape, the Rowan is a valuable plant for wildlife. The berries are an important food source for many birds and mammals, including thrushes, waxwings, and red squirrels. The tree is also an important nectar source for bees and other pollinators.