Mountain Ash

Mountain Ash (also known as Rowan) is a fast-growing pioneer species, that grows to only a modest height (rarely over 10m tall). It is tolerant of cold and of poor soil conditions, and grows at a higher altitude than any other tree in the UK (hence its name - like the Ash it has a compound, pinnate leaf).


Mountain Ash leaf

The leaf is a long, compound, pinnate leaf with 9 - 15 paired leaflets. Each leaflet is serrated with many small teeth along the edge. It has small grey hairs on its underside which are shed later in the year.

The leaves turn a bright gold/orange/red colour in the autumn.

Buds, Bark and Stem

Mountain Ash bark

Buds are ovoid, with a touch of purple coloration. Silvery-grey to brown bark, which is smooth (and shiny when wet). Dark lenticels visible on young shoots.

Flowers and Fruits

Creamy white scented flowers (about 1cm diameter) borne in dense clusters.


The flowers form bright red berries in August & September. The berries, which are often eaten by birds, contain 2 to 8 seeds.