Mountain Ash Garden Guide

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Mountain Ash Care At A Glance

  • Mountain Ash are Sorbus aucuparia and Not an Ash or Fraxinus sp. at all.
  • Selected in Russia for its sweet-tart nutritious bright orange berry clusters.
  • Easy to grow, somewhat self-fruitful, but plant in glades of 2 or more for cross-pollination.
  • Trees grow to an average size of 20 feet and reach bearing age in 2-3 years from planting.
  • Well-drained, organically rich soil in full sun to part shade location is best.
  • Berries can be eaten fresh, or dried, for teas, chutneys, or for jams & jellies.

Planting Instructions

Follow the same planting instructions as you would for other bareroot trees.

  • Amend existing soil appropriately with organic material to help improve drainage.
  • NOTE: Proper drainage is critical for fruit-bearing trees to do well long-term. Do not use potting soil.

  • Soak roots for 8-24 hours prior to planting.
  • Tip prune the top of the main leader by 1/3 to 1/2, immediately after planting.
    • With clean pruners, cut at a slight angle, just above a visible bud.
    • Any side branches should also be pruned back by 1/2 their length.
  • Properly water newly planted trees using the 1 inch per week rule for the entire first growing season.
    • 1 inch of water equates to about 2.5-3 gallons every other day.
    • Remove competitive grass & weeds to form a 3-4 feet tree well and add 2-3 inches of compost or mulch.
  • Cage or wrap tree trunks to prevent predation from deer or rodents.
  • NOTE: DO NOT rely solely on rain events to provide enough moisture to newly planted trees.

Rabina Mountain Ash

  • Trees grow at a moderate rate, typically as multi-trunked specimens.
  • Very adaptable, cold-hardy, and suitable for USDA zones 3-9.
  • Trees flower in spring and form clusters of bright orange berries rich in Vitamins A & C with ripening in early fall.
  • Few to no pest or disease issues.

'Shipova' Mountain Ash

  • A hybrid between Sorbus and Pyrus (Pear).
  • Trees grow to an average size of 15 to 20 feet high and wide.
  • Trees typically reach bearing age in 2-3 years from planting.
  • For cross-pollination plants with early blooming European pears like 'Ubileen', Clapp's, or other Sorbus species.
  • Small, pome fruits with russet-colored skin have sweet, yellow firm flesh with a taste similar to Asian pears.


Prune as needed starting the second year after planting, while trees are dormant in late winter to early spring. Follow basic fruit tree pruning techniques.


Light fertilizing can be done with balanced 10-10-10 all-purpose food starting the second season in the ground. Apply once annually in early spring.