Sorbus Joseph Rock

  • Best seller
  • Height 10 years: 3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
  • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
  • Leaf colour - autumn: Orange / Red
  • Fruit colour: Yellow

'Joseph Rock' is an excellent choice if you are loooking for a rowan tree to fit in a smaller space. It is widely considered one of the best of the small rowans, with an elegant appearance, reaching perhaps 4m after 10 years.

Clusters of white flowers appear in late May, followed by dense fruitlets which turn from white to golden yellow as autumn progresses.

It is one of the best rowans for autumn colour, with the leaves often attaining a flame red colour - contrasting attractively with the bright fruitlets.

'Joseph Rock' is named after Dr Joseph Rock of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, and is thought to have come from seeds collected on an expedition to China in the 1930s. The original tree still stands in the gardens of RHS Wisley.

Joseph Rock trees for sale

Order now for September delivery (pot-grown) or November (bare-root).

Height in 10 years
Price inc. VAT
1-year Joseph Rock tree - bare root
2-year Joseph Rock tree - in a 12L pot

You can pre-order items now for delivery when the new season starts in September,
you won't be asked to pay until nearer the time.

Prices include VAT if applicable.

What will it look like?

Illustrative example of a pot-grown tree of this variety as supplied. Trees should reach their mature height after about 10 or more years.

Sorbus Joseph Rock

We may also have 1-year bare-root trees of this variety - they are not shown here.

Leaves may not be present during winter, and we may prune some shoots to fit the delivery carton. Size may vary during the season and between batches. The container (if supplied) is only used for transporting the tree, which should then be planted out in the garden or in a much larger patio planter (not all species are suitable for patio planting).

How to grow

'Joseph Rock' is easy to grow and is one of the best trees for a small garden. It is susceptible to fireblight - but this is not usually an issue in the UK climate.

Joseph Rock characteristics


  • Attractive features: Attractive fruit Autumn foliage colour
  • Height 10 years: 3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
  • Growth habit: Upright-spreading
  • Vigour: Slightly small
  • Site conditions: Coastal site Occasional flooding
  • Useful for: Open spaces Small spaces Street / amenity
  • Pruning: Light prune
  • Disease resistance: Average
  • Gardening skill: Suitable for beginners


  • Country of origin: China
  • Flowering month: May June
  • Flower colour: White
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • Leaf colour - young: Green
  • Leaf colour - autumn: Orange / Red
  • Fruit colour: Yellow
  • Annual cycle: Deciduous
  • Awards: RHS 1st class


  • Fruit persistence: Persistent
  • Wildlife: Attractive to birds

Similar varieties

  • Sorbus
    Autumn Spire
    An unusual Rowan, with bright yellow fruitlets, and a very upright habit. Leaves turn bronze-red in the autumn.
  • Sorbus
    Copper Kettle
    Named for its attractive light copper-coloured fruitlets, Copper Kettle is easy to grow and takes up little space.
  • Sorbus
    A small rowan tree with an upright form and golden yellow clusters of fruits, and strong autumn colours.