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Sorbus domestica - L.

Common Name Service Tree
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 6-10
Known Hazards The seeds probably contain hydrogen cyanide. This is the ingredient that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. Unless the seed is very bitter it should be perfectly safe in reasonable quantities. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Habitats Woods and bushy places[45].
Range Europe.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Sorbus domestica Service Tree


Sorbus domestica Service Tree

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Sorbus domestica is a deciduous Tree growing to 15 m (49ft 3in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Synonyms

Cornus domestica. Pyrus sorbus.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked. The fruit is usually bletted if it is going to be eaten raw[1, 2, 3, 11, 115, 183]. This involves storing the fruit in a cool dry place until it is almost but not quite going rotten. At this stage the fruit has a delicious taste, somewhat like a luscious tropical fruit[K]. The fruit will often begin its bletting process whilst still on the tree and we have eaten delicious fruits straight from the tree in mid-September[K]. The fruit can also be dried and used like prunes. The fruit is up to 3cm across[200].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known

Other Uses

Tannin;  Wood.

The bark is a source of tannin[61]. Wood - fine grained, very heavy, hard to split. Used for furniture, screws, wine presses etc[11, 46, 61, 74, 115].

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most reasonably good soils in an open sunny position[11]. Tolerates light shade[188], though it fruits better in a sunny position[K]. The service tree is occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit[3, 45, 132]. There are 2 distinct forms, S. domestica pomifera. (Hayne.)Rehd. with apple shaped fruits (which ripen from September) and S. domestica pyriformis. (Hayne.)Rehd. with pear shaped fruits which ripen from October[11, 132]. Plants are susceptible to fireblight[188] and to canker (which is especially prevalent in areas with high rainfall)[K]. They grow best in the drier areas of Britain, which in general means the eastern half of the country[121].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[78, 80]. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed[78, 80]. Stored seed germinates better if given 2 weeks warm then 14 - 16 weeks cold stratification[98], so sow it as early in the year as possible. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Seedlings are very slow to put on top-growth for their first year or two[11], but they are busy building up a good root system. It is best to keep them in pots in a cold frame for their first winter and then plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Amelasorbus jackiiJack's amelasorbus20
Sorbus alnifoliaKorean Mountain Ash10
Sorbus americanaAmerican Mountain Ash12
Sorbus ariaWhitebeam, Chess-apple31
Sorbus aucupariaMountain Ash, European mountain ash22
Sorbus austriaca 20
Sorbus commixta 10
Sorbus decoraShowy Mountain Ash11
Sorbus devoniensisDevon Whitebeam30
Sorbus gracilis 10
Sorbus hybridaSwedish Service Tree, Oakleaf mountain ash10
Sorbus intermediaSwedish Whitebeam20
Sorbus japonica 10
Sorbus lanata 30
Sorbus latifoliaFrench Hales40
Sorbus mougeotii 40
Sorbus pohuashanensis 10
Sorbus sambucifoliaSiberian mountain ash20
Sorbus scopulinaWestern Mountain Ash, Greene's mountain ash, Cascade mountain ash21
Sorbus sitchensisSitka Mountain Ash, Western mountain ash11
Sorbus species 20
Sorbus thibeticaTibetan whitebeam30
Sorbus torminalisWild Service Tree, Checkertree40
Sorbus vestita 10

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

1145200

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Subject : Sorbus domestica  
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