American Mountain Ash, Dogberry

Sorbus americana

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sorbus (sor-bus) (Info)
Species: americana (a-mer-ih-KAY-na) (Info)
Synonym:Pyrus americana
Synonym:Pyrus microcarpa



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lisle, Illinois

Augusta, Maine

Brainerd, Minnesota

Blair, Nebraska

West Kill, New York

Belfield, North Dakota

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Ada, Oklahoma

Portland, Oregon

Kempton, Pennsylvania

Philipsburg, Pennsylvania

Powell, Tennessee

Ten Mile, Tennessee

Kalama, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 29, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

A lovely small tree to about 30 feet high. The compound leaves are 6 to 12" long with 11 to 17 toothed leaflets being 2 to 4" long. Gets a good fall color of golden to red-purple. Young bark is tan-gray and smooth with conspicuous hortizontal lenticels, but becomes more brown and scaly with age. Small white flowers in flat-topped clusters in late spring. Bears orange-red to scarlet red fruit in late summer and early autumn eaten by birds and small mammals.

Grows about 1.0 to 1.5 feet/year and lives about 25 to 50 years. If grown in regions of hot summers as Chicago, IL or Philadelphia, PA, it usually only lives about 20 years before being killed by borers due to heat stress; also disliking drought. Grows in dry to wet soils with pH 5 to 7.5. Found in nature the most in eith... read more


On Jun 19, 2005, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

A gorgeous tree that adds interest from spring through fall. In the spring there's the white flowers, followed by the orange fruit, then the glorious fall leaf coloring.


On Jul 30, 2004, a5thbrat from Sebastopol, CA wrote:

Burbank was actively propagating these trees in experiments in the early 1900s. There remain at least 3 partial "orchard rows" of Sorbus at his Gold Ridge Farm in Sebastopol CA. These trees are estimated to have been planted sometime between 1890 and 1920 and still bear a abundance of fruit each year.

Note, Foliage: A good source of "fall color".

Interesting Note Regarding Ripening of Fruit:
The fruit of the Sorbus is only edible after being "bletted", in other words, after falling to ground and fermenting.

The flesh then has a custard-like consistency and people describe it alternately as tasting like both vanilla and chocolate pudding.