The inhabitant of our forests, common mountain ash, often appears as a large 10-meter tree. And her named sister, the Köne mountain ash, is so small that nearby the lilac bush looks like a giant. This mountain ash has edible, sour fruits devoid of bitterness. But in our conditions, even in the most fruitful year, it is really possible to collect a glass or two from it - no more. But there is no other mountain ash equal to her in beauty. Therefore, the main reason to invite this little mountain ash to the garden is its decorative merits.
Snow berries on a mountain ash bush
According to the omniscient botanists, more than 240 species of mountain ash grow on the globe. (Sorbus)... Taxonomists consider mountain ash to be a close relative of the apple tree and in the vast family of Rosaceae classify it as a subfamily of apple trees. At first glance, an apple tree and a mountain ash tree are completely different trees. But look closely, and you will see that the fruits of mountain ash are, in fact, small apples, and the flowers, although small, are similar in structure to those of apple trees. Confused only by the leaves, which in most mountain ash are pinnately complex, consisting of many small leaves. But this rule is by no means universal, there are rowan trees with single leaves. Truly - nature is sophisticated and diverse.
But back to the one and only, for which the fuss. Rowan Köhne (Sorbuskoehneana)grows in the mountain forests of Central China. It can reach a height of three meters and a diameter at the butt of 5-6 cm. But in the conditions of central Russia, it only slightly outgrows the 2-meter mark. Usually it grows single-barreled, but in colder climates it can take on a 2-3 barrel, bush-like appearance.
The bark of the tree is smooth, of a pleasant reddish-brown hue, with creamy beige lenticels. Leaves are pinnate, with a total length of up to 25 cm, of 17-33 graceful, narrow, finely toothed leaves no more than 3 cm long. Most of the leaves are clustered at the top of the tree, which gives the plant a peculiar appearance. The flowers are white, with a diameter of about 1 cm, collected in corymbose inflorescences with a diameter of 5-8 (15) cm. A special flavor to the plant is given by the fruits ripening at the end of summer - pea-sized berries, of an unusual alabaster-white color, edible, sour taste.
A warm place for an immigrant
In essence, the cultivation of Köhne mountain ash is no different from other mountain ash. It is also light-requiring, undemanding to soil fertility, drought-resistant, and tolerates urban conditions well. Although the winter hardiness of this mountain ash is slightly lower than that of our forest, freezing occurs only in the most severe winters, and even then it is insignificant, and does not in the least reduce its decorative advantages.
For reliable and sustainable growth, the tree should be found in a favorable location. In essence, Köhne's mountain ash does not need anything supernatural, it is enough to avoid extremes. The place should not be low and damp. The presence of large trees like birch nearby (closer than 5 m) is undesirable. It is advisable to keep the foot of the tree in a plant-free form - under mulch. The southern or western slopes in their upper third are ideal. There is a lot of sun, and the colder, heavier air flows (this is called air drainage) into the depressions. Favorable factors include protection from through northern winds, and the presence of a large layer of snow at the landing site, which does not melt for a long time in spring. It should also be emphasized that the Köne rowan tree feels better in the city than outside the city.
Soil conditions are also of great importance. The soil should be fertile and moisture-consuming, but at the same time drained. A suitable substrate can, for example, be a mixture of turf, humus and sand in a ratio of 3: 2: 2 or 3: 2: 1. The fertile layer, due to the shallow bedding of the roots of mountain ash, can be 20 cm. The dimensions of the planting pit: diameter 50 cm at a depth of 40-50 cm. The plant tolerates planting well. But with open roots, it is shown to do this in a leafless period.And it is better in the fall, in September-October, than in the spring. However, with a clod of earth, this operation is always successful.
At first, plants should be watered regularly, keeping the root zone moist. In the future, watering is carried out according to the situation: in drought - more often. The plant's trunk circle should be kept in a loose, weed-free condition. The most rational way to achieve this is by mulching with peat, loose humus or compost, scattering them in a layer of 5-6 cm. Periodically, once a year, mulch is embedded in the soil, and after a while a new one is added.
There is no better color
The Köne rowan tree is very decorative. Leaves, flowers, and fruits give the tree a splendor. But the best is mountain ash during the periods of flowering and fruiting. A tree looks especially attractive if it is formed single-trunk, on a high trunk, with a dense whorl of leaves at the top. For this, the shoots (and there are always few of them) that appear in the middle part of the trunk are systematically blinded at the very beginning of growth. So you get a small, 180-220 cm high, umbrella-shaped tree.
The Köhne rowan tree is so small that it can be recommended even for a front garden. Moreover, it goes well with such guests as conifers, rhododendrons, spireas. It is so organic in the background of mixed compositions that the tree can even be introduced into classic flower mixborders, not to mention mixed compositions and groups with shrubs. If you plant it alone, then hosts, fescue, tenacious, bergenia, saxifrage can become the foreground or underfloor. The neighborhood of the stone also suits her. For example, instead of mulch, the rowan tree trunk circle can be sprinkled with stone chips. Or lay out a few boulders under the tree.
A rowan tree can be planted near a private house - in its "public" landscaping. The tree is beautiful, original, and no one will covet it. Also in the city courtyard there are many worthy places for her. She can even work as a ceremonial tree. And it will not let you down at the playground, even if the little one eats all the fruits from it. It will become of them!
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