Rowan - Joseph Rock
Chinese Rowan - Sorbus aucuparia / Sorbus rehderiana
An excellent variety, Joseph Rock has smaller, lighter coloured leaves than most other Rowans, giving the tree a more open look. The flowers come in plain clumps of creamy white before turning into masses of berries that make this is one of the best ornamental trees to bear golden/orange fruit. Joseph Rock also really stands out in autumn, when its leaves take turns to flush with reds, coppers and purple-brown tones making this a true allrounder. The maturing berries are held through autumn and show well against both the foliage and then bare branches as they change from milky yellow to rich amber. Sorbus Joseph Rock will only reach about 8-9 metres, 25-30 feet high, with an upright growth habit which makes it a good choice as an avenue tree or for a smaller garden including in cities and industrial areas where it is tolerant of pollution. However, if Joseph Rock is not for you, then have a look at our other Rowan trees, Whitebeam & Wild Service trees here.
Although there is some uncertainty about its origins, Joseph Rock it is probably one form of the variable species Sorbus rehderiana, taken from the mountainous forests of the Chinese province of Yunnan in the 1930's (however because of its pinnate leaf structure, it often is usually classed as an aucuparia). Joseph Rock was an Austrian explorer, though he made his home in Hawaii when he wasn't exploring China which was his passion. He spent over 25 years recording and studying Chinese plants, geography and language.
Planting Sorbus Joseph Rock
Sorbus aucuparia Joseph Rock will be happy in any well-drained, acidic soil type but It doesn't like solid chalk or more than partial shade.
We recommend it mulching it well in late spring and, if your soil is a bit dry, giving it a weekly soaking in a very hot summer.
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 when delivered.