If you love watching the wildlife in your garden, a rowan tree is a must. With clouds of blossom in spring for the bees and brightly coloured berries for hungry birds, it’s second only to the English Oak in the number of species it supports, and takes up much less space. Raised by experts in the field (literally), our UK grown rowans are fully hardy and will brighten up your garden for decades. They’re also pollution tolerant and were reputed in folklore to repel evil, so whether there’s black magic or carbon monoxide in the neighbourhood, rowan trees have you covered!
Which rowan tree is best for your garden?
Rowan trees are naturally compact and can be pruned to suit any size of garden. If you have the space, go all out with a Mountain Ash or Vilmorinii. For smaller gardens we recommend a neat and compact Pink Pagoda or Copper Kettle. The colour of rowan berries varies from yellows (Joseph Rock) through pinks to deep autumnal reds (Japanese Rowan, Whitebeam). Although some rowans can grow to around 6m, other varieties need much less space, making them a solid choice for any wildlife lover’s garden. Find the best rowan for your garden with our growers’ guide.
What grows well with rowans?
Rowan trees partner well with other UK native species including birches and willows, and can be underplanted with shade tolerant perennials or shrubs for a natural woodland look. If you don’t have space for a rowan tree, a crabapple has wildlife appeal in spades and can even be grown in a pot. You can also grow rowans as a hedge, which does the same job as well as sheltering your garden from wind, noise and pollution.
Rowan trees do best in fertile, well drained soils - they don’t thrive in clay or waterlogged soil, but any other kind is fine. You’ll get the best flowers and berries if your tree gets at least six hours of sunlight daily, but it will also be fine with a bit of light shade. Your rowan tree needs regular watering for its first year, but after that you’ll only need to water it during hot, dry weather. Feeding isn’t necessary, but mulching once a year will help to top up the soil’s natural nutrients. When your tree is young, you may want to prune it to improve the shape of the developing crown - after that you can leave it to its own devices unless you need to restrict its size. If you do need to prune, this should be done in autumn or early winter.