Did you know that the Rowan Tree is a unique tree that carries tree symbolism among certain cultures?
The Mountain Ash Tree was held to have powers that meant if you wanted to keep your family safe from malicious evil, the ancient Celts would recommend that you plant a Rowan plant next to your house because it will guard against bad luck and malignant spirits.
They believed you should also put Rowan twigs in your pocket because Rowan’s protective powers would then be bestowed on your person to block certain spells.
In fact, the bright red berries were believed to protect as well.1
The Mountain Ash (Rowen tree) has an interesting history, but it’s even more fun to grow this gorgeous “Tree of Life.”
This complete guide outlines how to identify the Rowen tree as well as how to care for and grow Mountain Ash trees.
Rowan Tree (Mountain Ash)
- Family: Rosaceae
- Genus: Sorbus
- Leaf: Serrated edge, gold/yellow, and grows up to 6 inches
- Bark: Light gray, smooth when young, and scaly when mature
- Seed: Brown and oblong-shaped
- Blossoms: Has 4 to 5 white petals and blooms in summer
- Fruit: Red or orange berry-like pomes
- Native Habitat: Northeastern North America
- Height: 15 to 35 feet
- Canopy: 8 to 20 feet
- Type: Deciduous
- USDA: 2a-6b
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Ranking
Celtic Tree of Life Meaning
In Scotland, Rowan Trees are held in high regard. The ancient Celts called the Rowan Tree the tree of life because of the wide array of wildlife that these trees attract, including butterflies, birds, bees song thrushes, waxwings fieldfares and blackbirds.
This tree was said to give protection and more than one way, and it was not allowed to be cut down this tree because it would cause bad luck. If anything was harvested from the tree, then that which was harvested could only be used to practice a ritual.
The ancient Norse people believed that the very first woman was made from the Rowan Tree.
Its red color used to be considered the best color for going against evil so its bright red berries have been loosely associated with magic. In addition, cutting down a tree like this was considered bad luck in Scotland.
In terms of symbolism, the word was also used for stirring the milk to prevent the milk curdling and could be used as a pocket charm against rheumatism.
How To Identify Rowan Tree or White Flowering Tree (Rowan Tree Flower)
It isn’t very difficult to do white flowering trees identification or identify a Rowan Tree.
You will see this tree in Northern climates. It is distinguished by its low branch and being multi-stand.
The good thing about the bark is that it’s smooth shiny and gray-brown with horizontal lines that become slightly rough on trees that age. There are bunches of creamy white flowers that are near the leaves after they mature.
Rowan Tree Leaves
They can be identified in the summer or fall by having bright orange-red berries.
Rowan Tree Seeds: Growing Rowan Tree From a Seed (Growing a Rowan Tree From a Seedling)
Getting your hands on a seed outside of the store is a lengthy process. But once you extract the seed, they are generally pretty easy to germinate.
Just mix your Rowan seed with horticultural sand and a compost mixture.5
For each handful of seeds you can add add two or three handfuls of mixture. Use a pot that has plenty of room for your mixture and your seed and put a layer of stones at the bottom.6
Cover them with a tent and then place the mixture on top of that and put another two or three centimeters sand the pot will need to stay outside during the winter and only water if they show signs of drying out. Never allow the seeds to dry out or they might not germinate.
Once about 10% of them are growing, you’re going to want to remove the weaker seedlings.8 After the thinning process, you can replant them in about five milliliters of compost and water them.
Continue to gradually increase the size of the containers for the first 2-3 years. Then, plant outdoors using proper tree planting steps.
Growing a Rowan Tree From a Cutting
If you want to grow Rowan tree from a cutting you can take 15 to 20 centimeters in the spring room remove the lower leaves and dip the end of adding in hormone rooting powder.7
Then, plant your cutting in a pot with more sand and place it in a warm, sunny spot until the cutting takes root planting your ruins is a good idea during November March.
Planting Tips for Rowan Tree
You want to start with a hole about two to 12 inches deep with a layer of gravel or rocks. It is best to dig a square hole and get rid of weed roots and fork the soil to make it workable.8
The ideal way to grow your Rowan would be in a fertile, in the sun to some shade. It is crucial to water regularly in the first two years to help it become established and stake it to stop root-rock.4
These trees need very little care after they’ve started growing. They should be watered in dry weather and mulched annually with well-rotted horse manure or compost.
It is advised to cut back suckering shoots coming from the base of the tree.
When To Plant Rowan Tree for the Best Yield
When you want to plant the Rowan for the best yield, remember that the Rowan does well between November and March in order to make sure you get the best results.10
If you’re doing it in a pot, then anytime is fine except the heat of the summer. Planting in the Winter months reduces the amount of stress the plant will deal with during transplanting.
Watering Needs for Rowan Tree Plants
While they’re establishing their roots, Rowan Trees need regular watering. After that, every seven to 10 days during the summer is going to be fine.
In general, the Rowan Tree needs around one or two bucket bowls of water around the base of the tree.6 You don’t need to give them any fertilizer except if the soil is poor and if you want you can with some compost during the planting.
How Much Carbon Does Rowan Tree Sequester?
Rowan Trees suck up a lot of pollution without causing damage to their health. So, if you plant one on the street, it’s going to make the air around it healthier for human lungs.
Because of their ability to sequester carbon they are critical in the fight against climate change.
An acre of forest can absorb 4.5 to 40 tons of carbon dioxide and create up to four tons of oxygen.12 This is enough to offset the annual carbon emissions and is like driving your car 26000 miles.
Best Growing Conditions for Rowan Tree / Mountain Ash
Rowan trees grow easily and do best on soil that is drained well. They do not do well on clay or other wet soil.
Rowan Trees grow in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 2a through 6b. They also do well and open Sunny sites and can do okay in some shade.
Since they are sensitive to diseases, pollution, and bugs, the Rowan Trees often do well at higher altitudes where there are less insects and less pollution.13
Rowan Tree Facts
The Rowan Tree can grow anywhere from sea level up to 3000 meters. For this reason, it is also called the Mountain Ash.13
Rowan is a hermaphrodite, meaning each flower has both male and female reproductive parts.5
Rowan Trees prefer acidic soil and it doesn’t do well with salty or compact soil which will lead to the tree having a short life.14
Growing Zones for Rowan Tree: Where To Grow Mountain Ash (Rowan Tree Growing Zone)
There are growing zones for the Rowan Tree that are basically ideal places for the Rowan Tree to grow.
The Rowan Tree has its roots throughout the cooler temperatures of the northern hemisphere and is most concentrated in the Himalayas of Southern Tibet and parts of Western China.5
At higher altitudes, it grows in a stunted form. It often grows on cliffs and alone steep hills as well as on top of large rocks are hard to reach.5
How To Stop Rowan Tree Disease (Rowan Tree Disease Prevention)
Regarding how to stop Rowan Tree diseases, there are several diseases and maladies that ravage the Rowan Tree, inhibiting their ability to thrive. To cease Rowan Tree disease, the environment should be free of defoliation and debris so that fungal and bacterial spores cannot affect the growth of the tree.3
Although Rowan’s fruit is not for human consumption the fruit should be taken off the tree before it enters dormancy in order for the tree to thrive.
Our native mountain ash and the European species (also known as a Rowan Tree) are frequently planted as ornamental plants and are susceptible to many of the diseases of apple, particularly apple scab, fire blight, black rot, and rust.16
The thing about Rowan Trees is that they can be privy to fireblight, European mountain ash ringspot-associated virus, and silver leaf disease.3 The Rowan Tree also runs the risk of suffering from browsing by deer.
How much sunlight does Rowan Tree need each day
Common Pests of the Rowan Tree: Natural Pest Control for Rowan Tree
It is important to know how to take care of your Rowan Tree so that it can be the healthiest tree possible. The leaves of this tree are often eaten by the caterpillars, several moths, like the larger Welsh wave and autumn green carpet.
There are caterpillars of the apple fruit moth that feed on the berries. Flowers give pollen and nectar to bees and other pollinating insects, and berries give a healthy source of autumn food for birds.16
Aphids also pose a threat to these trees and although they don’t cause great damage, controlling them will help you protect the leaves of an ash tree from becoming ugly.
This can be done when there is a straight stream of water traveling from your garden hoe that flows right onto the tree this is because the water will help decrease the presence of the aphids that attack the leaves and will also rinse the honeydew from the leaves.16
The good news is that wasps, lace worms, and other bugs can help control the infestation of these types of trees by eliminating aphids as well.
It’s essential to remove weeds from the area around the Rowan Tree since some weeds draw aphids. In order to prevent aphids from eating on the leaves, you can take care of your tree by applying reflective mulch around it.
Rowanberry / Red Berry Identification
Tree With Orange Berries
The flowers of the Rowan Tree have five clustered petals that bud in the late spring.
These flowers eventually into red or bright orange fruits that later fall off the leaves in the autumn.
When they turn orange, it means that they are ripe. However, the berries are too bitter, to be eaten fresh.
What Do Trees Represent?
In ancient history, trees are revered and believed to be the habitations of ancestral spirits. Ancient peoples regarded trees as holy and would ask forgiveness if they needed to cut one down.
Some believe that the souls of unborn babies are in inhabited trees until they came out of the mother’s womb. Some trees like the birch had special meaning to health, safety, and wisdom for humans during their lives.17
The wood is strong, hard and tough, but not very durable. Its wood is useful to us humans.
It is a pale yellow-brown with brown heartwood.
Sometimes it is used in turnery, furniture, craftwork, and engraving.5
Berries That Grow on Trees
The Rowan berries can be used to prevent scurvy and other illnesses and the sugars and tannins found in the berries, although the diuretic effect on the body which was used for tonics and other medicines.1
Types of Rowan Trees/ Mountain Ash Tree
The Mountain Ash family contains various different varieties. They usually fall into the Sorbus family. Sorbus is Latin for service treat or red/reddish-brown.
There are the Sorbus Acuparia, the Sorbus Domestica in the service are all of which grow in the UK.18 Sorb also refers to the berries of the Rowan Tree.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Rowan Tree
How Much Sunlight Does Rowan Tree Need Each Day?
They need about six hours of sunlight every day, but they will be fine with a bit of light shade.10
How Long It Takes To Grow Rowan Tree?
These trees take about 10 to 20 years to fully mature, and then, they can live for around 200 years.4
How Far Apart To Plant Rowan Tree?
When you plant Rowan Trees and you want to create a wildlife habitat you typically plant the trees between one meter and five meters apart,9 because that’s the way that they would typically have their seeds sown by nature.
Read More About Rowan Tree
10 Birch Tree Leaves: Easy Identification Trick & Full Chart of All Leaves
10 Types of Bonsai Trees (Pictures): Juniper vs Ficus vs Japanese vs Indoor
10 Types of Cypress Trees in Every State: Pictures (Full Map & Chart)
10 Types of Oak Trees in California: Identification Guide (Chart, Pictures)
10 Types of Willow Trees by State: Pictures, Map, Chart
101 Most Famous Tree Planting Quotes (Future Generations Quote)
11 Magnolia Trees: Guide to Every Type (Colors, Sizes, Locations, Seeds)
11 Types of Cedar Trees in Every State: Pictures (Map & Chart)
12 Types of Palm Trees in Hawaii (Pictures): Identification Guide (Chart)
125 Facts About the Environment in 2023 You Might Not Believe
1tree2mydoor. (n.d.). Rowan Tree Symbolism and Meaning. tree2mydoor. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://tree2mydoor.com/pages/information-trees-celtic-tree-calendar-rowan-tree-symbolism>
2University of Minnesota. (n.d.). Mountain Ash. University of Minnesota. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://campustrees.umn.edu/mountain-ash>
3NC STATE. (n.d.). Sorbus americana. North Carolina Extension Gardener. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/sorbus-americana/>
4Woodland Trust. (n.d.). ROWAN. Woodland Trust. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/Rowan/>
5Trees of Life. (n.d.). Rowan facts. Trees of Life. <https://treesforlife.org.uk/into-the-forest/trees-plants-animals/trees/rowan/rowan-facts/>
6Carter, H. (2020, February 19). Rowan Tree Guide: How to Grow & Care for “Mountain Ash” Trees. GardenBeast. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://gardenbeast.com/rowan-tree-guide/>
7GardenTags. (n.d.). SORBUS AUCUPARIA. GardenTags. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://www.gardentags.com/plant-encyclopedia/sorbus-aucuparia/6079>
8The Conservation Volunteers. (n.d.). How to grow Rowan. The Conservation Volunteers. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://treegrowing.tcv.org.uk/grow/tree-recipes/rowan>
9Mountain Ash/Rowan Tree. (n.d.). Mountain Ash/Rowan Tree. Trees Online. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://www.trees-online.co.uk/Mountain-Ash-or-Rowan.html>
10North, A. (n.d.). Is a Rowan Tree Right for My Garden? Roots. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://www.rootsplants.co.uk/blogs/features/best-rowan-trees>
11Hutley, L. B. (n.d.). Carbon cycling in a mountain ash forest: Analysis of below ground respiration. ACADEMIA. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://www.academia.edu/24647683/Carbon_cycling_in_a_mountain_ash_forest_Analysis_of_below_ground_respiration>
12Bernet, R. (2021, October 05). HOW MUCH CO2 DOES A TREE ABSORB? ONETREEPLANTED. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://onetreeplanted.org/blogs/stories/how-much-co2-does-tree-absorb>
13Arbor Day. (n.d.). Mountainash, European. Arbor Day Foundation. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/treedetail-legacy.cfm?ID=456>
14The University of UTAH. (n.d.). European Mountain-ash (Rowan Ash). The University of UTAH. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://facilities.utah.edu/tree-tour/tree-display.php?tree_name=european-mountain-ash>
15Gardenia Creating Gardens. (n.d.). Sorbus aucuparia (European Mountain Ash). Gardenia Creating Gardens. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://www.gardenia.net/plant/sorbus-aucuparia>
16CAES. (n.d.). Mountain Ash (Sorbus). Connecticut’s Official State Website. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://portal.ct.gov/CAES/Plant-Pest-Handbook/pphM/Mountain-Ash-Sorbus>
17Coder, K. D. (n.d.). Cultural Aspects of Trees: Traditions & Myths. University of Georgia. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://esploro.libs.uga.edu/view/pdfCoverPage?instCode=01GALI_UGA&filePid=13662259890002959&download=true>
18Wikipedia. (2023, April 17). Rowan. Wikipedia. Retrieved April 19, 2023, from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rowan>
19Kapa65. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/rowanberry-rowan-berry-red-1694325/>
20Jorma Peltoniemi. Flickr. Retrieved from <https://flic.kr/p/G17XNF>
21Dave Morton. Flickr. Retrieved from <https://flic.kr/p/2cxBo9x>
22Hietaparta. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/rowan-sorbus-deciduous-tree-wood-143668/>