Swedish Whitebeam – Sorbus x intermedia

A natural hybrid between Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) and the Wild Service Tree (Sorbus torminalis). A medium-sized deciduous tree which can grow from 10 to 20m tall with a conical crown. The bark is smooth and grey. The coursely lobed, oval leaves are up to 12cm long, dark green with  silver-grey, downy undersides. It flowers in May with a profusion of small, clustered creamy-white flowers. Bright orange-red berries follow in autumn.

Widely planted in parks, and along streets and avenues for its tolerance to air pollution. It is also wind resistant, and tolerant of calcareous soils, which makes for a very tough tree. It also thrives near the coast because of its tolerance to sea salt. Native to Scandinavia and the Baltic, this tree has long been planted in the British Isles and is fairly abundant. Also naturalised.