homebanner homebanner homebanner homebanner homebanner homebanner
Sorbus torminalis - (L.)Crantz.
                 
Common Name Wild Service Tree, Checkertree
Family Rosaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
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, usually on clay[186], sometimes on limestone[17].
Range Europe, from Britain and Denmark south and east to N. Africa, the Caucasus and W. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary

Sorbus torminalis Wild Service Tree, Checkertree


Sorbus torminalis Wild Service Tree, Checkertree
© Andrew Dunn
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Sorbus torminalis is a deciduous Tree growing to 20 m (65ft 7in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay 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
Crataegus torminalis. Pyrus torminalis.

Habitats
Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 5, 11, 74, 115, 183]. The taste is best after a frost because it turns sweeter. The fruit can also be bletted if it is going to be eaten raw[3, 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. Rich in vitamin C. The fruit is up to 1.5cm across[200] and is borne in bunches which makes it easier to harvest[K].
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.

Antirheumatic;  Hypoglycaemic.

None known
Other Uses
Wood.

Wood - heavy, fine grained, polishes well. Used for turning, wood carving[74, 115].
Cultivation details
Succeeds in most reasonably good soils so long as they are not too poor or acid, in an open sunny position[1, 11]. Prefers clay soils[3, 11]. Tolerates moderate shade[188], but does not fruit so well in such a position[K]. Grows best in the eastern half of Britain[121]. Plants are susceptible to fireblight[188]. Plants respond well to coppicing[186]. When found in a truly wild situation this species is considered to be an indication of primary woodland[200].
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
Found In
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 domesticaService Tree50
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 vestita 10
Plant Suppliers: Click here for a List

      You can download this page as a PDF

Expert comment
 
Author
(L.)Crantz.
Botanical References
1117200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Roger Parker Sun Aug 12 2007
In parts of England, in past centuries, the berries were used to flavour certain types of beer and ale. The sign hanging ouside a number of old English pubs, "The Chequers", does not always show a black and white board but sometimes shows a picture of the Wild Service Tree. See "Trees and Bushes in wood and hedgerow" H.Vedel & J.Lange. (English translation) Methuen.
Pedro A.
Photos (the text is in portuguese but everything they write there is already here) May 7 2011 12:00AM
Sorbus
QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.
2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.
3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.
Add a comment/link

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Sorbus torminalis  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
Other Plant uses
Woodland Gardening
Why Perennial Plants?
Top Edible Plants
Top Medicinal Plants
Garden Design
Habitats
Translations

Twiter      Facebook

Content

Content Help
Bookshop
Support Us
Blog
Links
Old Database Search
Suppliers
Contact
About Us
News
Sign In

PFAF Newsletter

Stay informed about PFAFs progress,
challenges and hopes by signing up for
our free email newsletter. You will receive
a range of benefits including:
* Important announcements and news
* Exclusive content not on the website
* Updates on new information &
functionality of the website & database

We will not sell or share your email address.
You can unsubscribe at anytime.