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John Mitchell

John Mitchell whitebeam leaves

John Mitchell is a popular whitebeam. It has particularly large leaves, with white-green undersides, a characteristic of whitebeams.

In autumn the leaves take on russet tones. The abundant fruitlets are also brown, somewhat resembling tiny apples - reflecting the distant relationship between Sorbus and Malus species.

John Mitchell whitebeam trees for sale

    Next deliveries

    Deliveries from 5th October for pot grown and December for bare-rooted (where items shown in stock).

    How to grow

    John Mitchell is a hardy and vigorous whitebeam, fast-growing, and suitable for almost any situation.


    The original John Mitchell tree is at the Westonbirt Arboreturm in Gloucestershire and was the arboretum's "Tree of the Month" in August 2016. It is usually considered to belong to the species Sorbus thibetica (the Tibetan Whitebeam) but is now believed to be a hybrid of Sorbus aria. It is named after the arbortum's first curator, John Mitchell.

    John Mitchell characteristics

    • Gardening skillBeginner
    • AwardsRHS Award of Garden Merit
    • Attractive featuresAttractive foliage
    • Growth habitUpright-spreading
    • Height after 10 years3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
    • PruningDo not prune
    • Growth rateFast
    • Site conditionsCoastal siteWindy site
    • Flower colourWhite
    • Flowering monthMayJune
    • Leaf colourGrey-green
    • Leaf colour - autumnMultiple tints
    • Fruit colourBrown
    • Fruit persistencePersistent
    • Country of originUnited Kingdom
    • WildlifeAttractive to birds
    • Annual cycleDeciduous

    Similar varieties

    • See also Sorbus wardii
      Sorbus wardii
      Sorbus wardii
      A little-known Whitebeam from the Himalayas, featuring large silver-green leaves and yellow-orange berries.

    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.