Hainault Forest Website

Tree identification

Rowan (Mountain ash) Sorbus aucuparia,  Whitebeam S.aria

Hybrid S.thuringiaca, Swedish Whitebeam S.intermedia,

and Broad leaved Whitebeam  S.latifolia agg.

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ROWAN'S compound pinnate leaf with serrated leaflets Flowers of ROWAN Sorbus aucuparia

ROWAN berries

WHITEBEAM Sorbus aria.

Underside of leaf covered in white hair. Planted and naturalized.

 Twig of WHITEBEAM Sorbus aria Buds with green or brown scales, twig grey-brown.

Newly opened bud of Whitebeam showing the white undersides.

Photo: Vic George

Fruits and leaves of Whitebeam Sorbus aria
Twig of BASTARD SERVICE TREE Sorbus thuringiaca
Twig of SWEDISH WHITEBEAM Sorbus intermedia

(Left)   BASTARD SERVICE TREE. S.thuringiaca. A hybrid of Rowan and Whitebeam.  The underside of leaf is downy. There are one or two pairs of free leaflets.     (Centre)  SWEDISH WHITEBEAM Sorbus intermedia.   (Right)   BROAD-LEAVED WHITEBEAM  Sorbus latifolia agg.

 

ROWAN Sorbus aucuparia

 

There are several Rowan trees  to be found in the Country Park. A few are mature and a good example is on the horse ride at the end of Foxburrows Road. The compound pinnate leaf is superficially like an Ash and hence its other name of Mountain Ash. The red autumn berries are a favourite with Redwings and Fieldfares and also makes an excellent jelly to accompany venison, game and chicken dishes. Whitebeam S. aria has a simple leaf with a downy white underside and occurs mainly as a sapling tree. A mature hybrid of Rowan and Whitebeam known as a Bastard Service tree S. thuringiaca can be found in the plantation by walking along the main footpath from the Latchford gate. It was planted by the GLC and there are also some good examples in the Roding Valley Reserve opposite Tesco, South Woodford. The leaf has one or two pairs of free leaflets. A few saplings of Swedish Whitebeam S. intermedia occur in the forest and there is one example of Broad-leaved Whitebeam at the back of the Heathland area. The Wild service tree S. torminalis completes this group, but because of its importance as an ancient woodland species it has its own page.

 

Bastard Service tree on the edge of the plantation. Note the upward pointing branches. This is a hybrid of Rowan and Whitebeam.

TOP: Bastard service tree in flower and

BELOW: Flowers of Swedish Whitebeam.