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The Year In Trees
Superb Woody Plants for Four-Season Gardens
by Kim E. Tripp
and J. C. Raulston
274 pp, 206 color photos, 7 3/8 x 10 3/8", paperback
This is a book for people who love plants. In particular, it is a book for people who love woody plants--trees, shrubs and vines. In the pages of this book you will find a seasonal series of woody plant portraits, a garden gallery of old friends and new acquaintances, including many unusual plants. Each portrait will extol the virtues of a plant, give cultural and propagation information, and offer advice on creative ways to use the plant in your garden. The array of plants described includes 150 wonderful woodies: a range of plants that offer unique garden character, and among which are plants useful for gardens in diverse areas.
Sorbus alnifolia/ Korean mountain ash
The foliage of Korean mountain ash is uniquely beautiful all through the year, but its most dramatic display is in autumn, when the leaves become bright orange. Bright berries in cherry-red to vermillion provide another part of the spectacular fall show of Sorbus alnifolia. The fruits are absolutely spectacular against the fall foliage and this tree's elegant, smooth gray bark.
Most Sorbus species are ravaged by root rots and show increased susceptibility to the many pests and diseases that already plague many of its rose family relatives; however, Sorbus alnifolia , a species from China, Japan, and Korea, stands far above the others in terms of trouble-free status. It also just happens to be one of the most striking trees in the fall landscape.
Korean mountain ash is a medium to large tree reaching 40 feet (12.4 m) in height with a 20-foot (6.2-m) spread. The crown becomes generously rounded as the tree matures from its oval habit in youth. Korean mountain ash has single, entire leaves, reminiscent of beech leaves ( Fagus spp.); many other Sorbus species have divided leaves similar to ash ( Fraxinus spp.) or pecan ( Carya illinoiensis ). The foliage of Sorbus alnifolia is beautiful all through the year, emerging a velvety emerald which darkens to a rich grass-green and finally colors dramatically in autumn. Korean mountain ash flowers in late spring, bearing flattened clusters of delicate white flowers. These flowers mature into the striking show of colored fruit, which the birds also seem to enjoy.
Image above: Korean mountain ash is a beautiful, disease-resistant tree with pink-red fruit displayed against yellow fall color that persists on the branch into the winter.