Thursday Trees – Rowan (An Caorthann)

The Rowan, also known as the Mountain Ash (although it is not a relative of the Ash tree), is a broadleaf, native to Ireland.

Roawn tree on the slopes of Nephin Beg mountain.

Roawn tree on the slopes of Nephin Beg mountain.

The Rowan is peculiar among Irish broadleaves for its tolerance to relatively high altitudes, up to 900 m. For this reason, it is often found up high with the plantation forests of conifer non-natives. It is also quite tolerant of waterlogged locations. Demanding of light, the tree is seen at the edges of conifer plantations, where it is employed to partly disguise the monotonous plantation. It is often seen standing alone on boggy mountain slopes.

 

Rowan tree,  along The Western Way.

Rowan tree, along The Western Way.

The main attraction of the Rowan are its wonderfully bright orange / red berries, which appear in autumn (as early as early August). The tree has leaves that are similar to those of the Ash, though of a smaller size. They are pinnate and divided into between 5 and 10 leaflets. In autumn, they turn a nice golden yellow colour.

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