Summer 2024You can now pre-order for next season. Deliveries will begin again in September for pot grown trees and December for bare-rooted or mixed tree orders.
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Wild Service Tree

The Wild Service Tree is an English native tree, also found across much of Europe. It can perhaps be regarded as a primitive form of Sorbus, and shares many characteristics with the Whitebeams (Sorbus aria).

It flowers in late May - June, with dull white clusters of flowers.

The flowers are followed by brown fruits, somewhat larger and more elongated than those of modern Sorbus varieties, more like small dates. As with many Sorbus, the fruits can be cooked, but are not particularly palatable.

The leaves are large, resembling maple leaves. They are a shiny green over the summer, and take on yellowo / crimson hues in the autumn.

The tree was previously grown for the qualities of its dense wood.

Wild Service Tree rowan trees for sale

    Sorry we have not produced any trees of this variety this season.


    The fruits of the Wild Service Tree are known in southern England as "chequers" and the tree is known as the Chequers Tree. The fruits were sometimes used for flavouring beer, and it is perhaps no coincidence that "The Chequers" is a common name for public houses.

    It is not to be confused with the True Service Tree (Sorbus domestica).

    Wild Service Tree characteristics

    • Gardening skillBeginner
    • Attractive featuresAttractive tree / plant
    • Growth habitUpright-spreading / Vase
    • Height after 10 years3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
    • PruningDo not prune
    • Growth rateFast
    • Site conditionsCoastal siteWindy site
    • WildlifeAttractive to birds
    • Flower colourWhite
    • Flowering monthJune
    • Leaf colourGreen
    • Leaf colour - autumnYellow / Crimson
    • Fruit colourBrown
    • Country of originUnited Kingdom
    • Annual cycleDeciduous

    How to choose a Rowan or Whitebeam tree

    We list more than 50 Sorbus (rowan and whitebeam) trees. Choosing can be difficult! Our article explaining the different berry and leaf colours might help narrow down the selection.