Wednesday 11 September 2013

Mountain Ash

    I hate to keep going on about what a great summer we have had, and how all of the plants have really been in high production, but in the past, I did so much complaining about the crappy weather, that I feel obligated to balance the books somewhat.  One of the plants that has shown an outstanding increase in productivity has been our Mountain Ash tree.
    I didn’t know anything about the mountain ash trees until we moved to McBride and my neighbors planted one in their yard.  It was a very attractive tree that had a great shape, clusters of white flowers, and in the fall those clusters became a group of orange/red berries, that the birds all seemed to really like.  I was so taken with the tree that I planted one in our yard, probably 20 years ago.
    Although it seemed healthy enough  and grew, I was always disappointed that it didn’t put out many berries.  Last year there were only about 5 clumps of berries on the tree.  It could be that the tree has just finally matured, or that the sunny warm summer spurred it on, or maybe a combination of the two, but this year, finally, it covered itself with berries.  
    The berries are extremely tart and people don’t eat them, but the birds sure do and they will strip the tree later in the fall.  The mountain ash is not related to the other “Ash” trees.  It was mistakenly given the name because it has divided leaves similar to the true ash family of trees.  Mountain ash do grow wild around here, but the one we have is a domesticated one that we got at a nursery.

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