Browse all of our other Rowan trees, Whitebeam & Wild Service trees here.
Cardinal Royal is a cultivar of our native Rowan, also known as Mountain Ash. They are distinguished by their branches, which are much more erect than those of their parent. This creates a tidier overall appearance when the tree is used to line an avenue and also makes it a good choice for a small garden. In May, the small, white, aromatic flowers emerge from pearl-like buds which develop into big bunches of blood-red berries by mid-August. Cardinal Royal produces a noticeably bigger crop than a wild Rowan tree and this will be much appreciated by your neighbourhood birds, who rely on berries like these to put on weight before the winter. They are very popular with farm poultry too. All types of Rowan come into their own around late September with a fantastic display - some leaves stay green while others change from red to rusty ochre to custard yellow. With the rich, rosy berries amongst all of that, these trees are models of autumn colour. Rowans are hardy trees that prefer acidic soil.
Cardinal Royal berries are perfectly edible with the right preparation, although they are not sweet like Edulis berries. Eaten raw, they will give you a stomach ache. They are ripe when they part easily from their stem. For the best results, freeze the berries first or collect them after a frost - this opens up the fruit's tissues and means that you won't have to cook them for long, which helps to preserve their vitamins. The heat required to then make jelly or jam will destroy any compounds that cause indigestion and the best jelly is made with an equal amount of Rowan berries and crab apples. They were a vital source of vitamin C for our ancestors and the Rowan tree has a host of old names, most of which describe the berries - Rowan simply means "the red one".
Cardinal Royal reaches a modest size of about 10 metres, 30+ feet, and it grows swiftly. Suitable for most soils, so long as there is good drainage (such as on a hill, ridge or slope).
Please watch our tree planting video for full planting instructions.
How Standard Trees are Measured:
All the plants in the ornamental trees section are graded as standards, which means that they are measured by their girth in centimetres 1 metre above ground level (basically, their trunk's waist measurement). They aren't measured by their height, which will vary.
So, a 6/8 standard has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8 centimetres and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10 centimetres around.
This measurement makes no difference to the tree's final height. Most standards are between 2 - 3.5 metres tall, but this is just an average so we cannot tell you accurately how tall your trees will be before we deliver them.