|Plants for Wildlife - Fruiting|
American Mountainash (Sorbus americana)
Size: 10-30' tall'/15 wide.
Fruiting: mid-late autumn
Birds: catbird, oriole, grosbeak, waxwings, robin, and thrushes (bluebird, solitaire)
Mountainash fruit crops are fairly regular and the ability to hang on throughout winter makes the berries excellent emergency food.Yellow-bellied sapsuckers sometimes drill larger specimens for sweet sap. Be cautious of purchasing varieties that are more susceptible to fire blight as these trees will likely fall victim within the first 15-20 years.
American mountain-ash is a native, smooth-barked, deciduous shrub or small tree 10 to 30 feet tall. It tends to be slow growing and short-lived. American mountain-ash prefers moist habitats from the borders of swamps to rocky hillsides. It is common in openings or in woods, scattered on uplands along edges of woods, roadsides, and under semi-open stands. It will grow well in a stunted form on relatively dry soils. American mountain-ash flowers from May to July; fruit ripens in August. The berries remain on the tree and are available to birds all winter.
Showy Mountainash (Sorbus decora) 25-30' tall'/15 wide. A smooth-barked deciduous shrub or small tree up to 30 feet high with a short trunk, slender, spreading branches, and a narrow, open round-topped crown; similar to American Mountain Ash but winter buds are sticky. Numerous flowers in showy round or flat-topped clusters 5-15 cm diameter; individual, 5-petaled flowers, small, 6-8 mm wide; appearing June and July. Scarlet berries in loose clusters; ripening in August and September.
Korean Mountainash (Sorbus alnifolia) 15-30' tall'/15 wide. The glossy, dark green leaves of this Mountain Ash are not compound as on other Sorbus species. The fall color is yellow to orange. Stress can predispose the plant to disease and insect problems. It can be susceptible to borers, and frequently develops fireblight though is less susceptable to disease than other Sorbus spp. Often short-lived in the landscape. White flowers in early summer; cherry red to vermillion berries in fall that persist into winter.
European Mountainash (Sorbus acuparia) 20-40' tall'/20 wide. European Mt. Ash has alternate, pinnately compound, 5 to 8 inches long, individual leaflets are serrated on their upper halves, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, dull dark green above paler below. Flower is showy clusters of small white flowers, clusters 3 to 5 inches across, appearing in May followed by clusters of bright deep orange small pomes, very showy, ripening in September, which are persistent. Stress predisposes the plant to disease and insect problems. Can be very susceptible to borers, and frequently develops fireblight. Often short-lived in the landscape. Prefers acid soils. Does not do well in compacted soils and polluted atmospheres. High summer temperatures appear to limit growth.
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A digital (or tape) sound recorder can be beneficial for recording songs heard in the field, and also notes you want to remember about what you see and hear.