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More recently, the oak-leaved (or hollow) rowan has gained extraordinary popularity among amateur gardeners and professionals. This is not surprising, since the plant looks very beautiful throughout the entire growing season, does not require special care and has a number of other positive qualities. Knowledge of the peculiarities of growing oak-leaved mountain ash will be useful when choosing a seedling, planting it and further agricultural technology.
Description of oak-leaved mountain ash
Oak-leaved mountain ash belongs to the genus Sorbus. In adulthood, the plant reaches 12m in height. In the first years of life, its crown has a pyramidal shape, which later changes to spherical, 6 m in diameter. At the base, the leaves of the tree are simple, with a deep dissection. Above, they look like oak leaves. Their upper surface is dark green, below it is grayish, covered with fluff. Up to two years of age, the shoots have a gray-brown bark, on a more mature plant they brighten, become gray-brown. Flowers with a diameter of 1.2 cm are collected in dense white, wide, corymbose inflorescences, reaching a diameter of 10 cm. Holly rowan blooms in May. Its fruits are red-orange and taste bitter. Ripen in late August and early September.
The tree is resistant to drought, easily tolerates frost, unpretentious to the soil, grows well in illuminated areas.
Pros and cons of oak-leaved rowan
Frequent use of oak-leaved mountain ash in landscape design is explained by a number of its advantages:
- unpretentious care;
- resistance to drought, environmental pollution, temperature drop;
- undemanding to soils;
- frost resistance;
- the presence of strong immunity to fungal diseases;
- attractive appearance at any time of the year and at any age;
- medicinal properties of berries;
- the widespread use of fruits in cooking.
Among the disadvantages:
- the plant does not tolerate a lack of light; it can stretch out in the shade of other trees;
- does not like high groundwater levels.
Rowan oak-leaved in landscape design
Rowan oak-leaved is not only an ornamental, but also a functional plant. It has an aesthetic appearance, bears useful fruits used in cooking and traditional medicine. The frost resistance of the culture allows it to be grown in the gardens of the northern regions along with conifers - spruce, fir, cypress. In summer, the culture looks organically in the green of the conifers. In autumn and winter, bright foliage and bunches of berries emphasize the green of the needles. Its combination with willows, poplars and ash trees is quite acceptable. Rowan oak-leaved can serve as a good background for ornamental shrubs - spirea, barberry, honeysuckle. In the garden, the tree looks good both in individual plantings and in groups, as a hedge.
Thanks to its strong root system, it can be planted on slopes and sloping surfaces.
There are weeping forms of oak-leaved mountain ash, which look great next to pergolas, benches, arches entwined with clematis.
The use of rowan oakleaf
According to the description and photo, the oak-leaved mountain ash ripens in early autumn. Its berries are dense and have an astringent taste. They include:
- beta carotenes;
- amino acids;
Due to the chemical composition of oak-leaved mountain ash, it is widely used in folk medicine in various forms - as tea, infusion, in dried form. It has diuretic, laxative, hemostatic immunostimulating effects. Mountain ash is used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, dropsy, scurvy, atherosclerosis, dysentery, hypertension, rheumatism. The astringency of the berries goes away after they are frozen or dried.
Oak-leaved rowan berries are widely used in the culinary and food industries. On their basis, marmalade, marshmallow, jam are produced. Multiyear juices are fortified with mountain ash. The berry is used to prepare sauces for meat, it is added to cucumbers when pickling. Thanks to the tannins in the berries, cucumbers remain crispy after heat treatment and pickling.
Planting and caring for oak-leaved mountain ash
Rowan oak-leaved does not require special growing conditions and care. Reproduction of plants can be carried out by seeds, by grafting, young shoots, layering. The tree is resistant to diseases and pests.
For the full growth, development and fruiting of a plant, a number of rules must be followed:
- the right choice of a site for planting seedlings;
- the use of a soil mixture that retains moisture;
- priority of disembarkation in spring time;
- use of water retention techniques;
- planting several rowan trees for cross-pollination;
- carrying out periodic feeding;
- correct pruning;
- preparation of a seedling for a safe wintering.
Landing site preparation
Rowan oakleaf is capable of growing in conditions that are not suitable and extremely uncomfortable for other plants. The tree can develop and bear fruit in the city, be used for landscaping the sides of highways and roads. It tolerates drought, soil contamination with ice reagents, and air pollution. The average life span of the oak-leaved mountain ash is about 100 years. The conditions of the metropolis shorten the life of the plant by 15 to 20 years.
A place where culture feels comfortable and grows quickly should be sunny. With a lack of lighting, oak-leaved mountain ash can stretch out. In this case, the shape of the crown deteriorates, which can be difficult to correct. Closely located groundwater or swampy peat soils have a detrimental effect on the root system. Fertile loams are the best option when choosing a soil for oak-leaved mountain ash.
After determining the landing site, you need to prepare a pit. Its size should not only correspond to the size of the plant's root system, but also have an additional margin in width for the unhindered spread of roots along the upper fertile layer.
Rowan is planted in autumn or early spring, when the buds have not yet begun to grow.
Advice! Despite the self-fertility of the culture, it is worth purchasing several other varieties of mountain ash, besides oak-leaved, in order to get a good harvest of berries in the future.
During landing, actions are followed according to a certain pattern:
- They dig planting holes 60 cm deep, 80 cm wide and 80 cm long.
- They are filled with compost soil, adding superphosphate, ash, rotted manure humus there.
- Shorten the roots.
- The seedling is placed in the center of the planting pit and covered with soil mixture so that the neck is at ground level.
- Water the plant abundantly.
- Mulch the soil around the trunk with straw and grass.
- The center conductor is shortened.
As you can see in the photo, planting and caring for rowan oak-leaved, done correctly, lead to a gorgeous look of the plant, abundant flowering and fruiting.
Watering and feeding
Unlike an adult plant, young seedlings are in great need of watering. Immediately after planting, the moistening of the oak-leaved mountain ash should be regular and abundant. To retain moisture in the soil, it is worth using soil mulching and earthen rollers around the trunk circle.
Fertilizing the plant is carried out during planting with mineral fertilizers and organic matter. The next time they are brought under the mountain ash no earlier than the third year of life. During the flowering period, the tree needs additional nitrogen, potassium. After harvesting the fruits of the oak-leaved mountain ash, during preparation for winter, phosphorus and potassium are added to the plant. Fertilizer is scattered over the surface around the trunk, then it is embedded to a depth of 15 cm. After top dressing, the soil must be abundantly moistened.
The oak-leaved mountain ash does not need special pruning. Removal of overgrowth is possible for sanitary purposes and for crown formation.
To do this, immediately after planting in a young plant, it is worth cutting out excess shoots growing at an acute angle upward. If you ignore this procedure, the crown of the tree will thicken after a while, the branches will stretch out, become thin and brittle, and it will be difficult to form the crown. In the first pruning, the lateral branches are shortened, leaving only 3 buds from the trunk, the main trunk is not pruned.
In the following years, the crown of the plant is formed, for which, after harvesting, old damaged branches are cut out, shoots touching the ground, growing in the center of the crown, with obvious signs of diseases.
To stimulate the growth of young shoots at the age of four years and older, old branches are cut out on the oak-leaved mountain ash at a distance of 1 - 3 cm from the trunk.
Preparing for winter
Oak-leaved mountain ash belongs to frost-resistant crops. She is able to survive a drop in temperature down to -35 ⁰С.
Adult plants do not need any shelter. Young trees with a fragile root system can die during severe frosts, so you need to take care of their protection. For this purpose, oak-leaved mountain ash is spud with dry earth before the onset of the winter cold, the trunk circle is mulched with a large layer of dry leaves (15 cm) and covered with spruce branches on top. The top of the tree is not covered.
Rowan oak-leaved was obtained by mixing two forms - ordinary and mealy. In some years, the culture gives a rich harvest of berries, behind which foliage is not visible at this time.
In order for the harvests to be permanent, experts advise planting several oak-leaved rowan trees in the garden. As a result of cross-pollination, it is possible to achieve this effect. Do not plant wild varieties of plants in the garden so as not to spoil the quality of the berries.
The berries of mountain ash are oak-leaved, large, pleasant to the taste, their harvest is plentiful. Flowering begins in spring, fruits ripen in late summer and early autumn. At this time, it is necessary to hurry with the harvest, otherwise they may lose their useful qualities and presentation or become prey for birds.
To distract the birds, you can make feeders away from the mountain ash.
Cut the berries with pruning shears with whole brushes. The stalks are removed immediately before processing the fruit - by cooking, drying, freezing. In the dried state, the moisture content of the finished rowan berries should be about 18%.
Diseases and pests
It is believed that oak-leaved mountain ash has a strong immune system and rarely gets sick. But in late May-early June, due to unfavorable weather conditions, infectious diseases can massively spread:
- powdery mildew - white spiderweb bloom on leaf plates;
- rust - orange-yellow spots with dark brown tubercles, due to which the leaves are deformed;
- brown spot - brown spots with a reddish border on the upper side of the leaves;
- gray spot - gray spots on irregularly shaped leaf plates;
- scab - brown spots with radiant edges, on which a mycelium bloom with spores develops;
- ring mosaic - yellow rings with a green center, forming a mosaic pattern on the leaves.
The pests of rowan oakleaf include:
- weevil - a small brown beetle that feeds on the kidneys, eating away at the core;
- bark beetle is a small beetle that gnaws through passages in the bark;
- moths - a caterpillar 2 cm long, appears before flowering and destroys buds, leaves, flowers;
- rowan aphid - sucks juices from leaves.
Oak-leaved mountain ash can be propagated:
- root shoots;
The seed method is rarely used because of its laboriousness and duration. The first shoots of plants appear a few months after sowing.
The budding of oak-leaved mountain ash is started at the beginning of August. Its plastic skin ensures high survival rate. A year later, the stock is cut on a thorn, the buds are removed, the grown shoot is tied to a thorn.
Cutting method consists in separating the lateral root of the mother plant with small shoots and dropping it into the loose soil with a cut up.
Rooting is possible with ordinary cuttings taken from shoots. Their rooting is 60%.
Layers are made with the help of long young branches, dug in and pinned into a special furrow. After rooting, the plant is separated and planted in a permanent place.
Root shoots of oak-leaved mountain ash constantly appear next to the trunk. For reproduction, it is enough to carefully separate, dig up and plant the root offspring in a new place.
Rowan oak-leaved perfectly sets off and emphasizes the elements of the garden. It can itself become the center of the composition or the background for other ornamental plants. An undemanding tree pleases with a harvest of useful berries, easily tolerates drought and frost. When planting oak-leaved mountain ash, you should thoroughly determine the place in order to emphasize all the positive aspects of the plant and prevent it from shading.