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Sorbus aucuparia
European mountain ash

European mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia) is a medium-sized, short-lived deciduous tree, widely distributed throughout Europe, with the exception of the continent’s most southern parts and large islands. In its southern distribution range, the tree is only found at higher elevations.

The tree’s wood is suitable for use in the production of tool handles, turnery and furniture but is not durable enough for outdoor constructions. The tree’s adventitious roots make it useful for mitigating soil erosion, while its nutritional fruits are used for juice, jam, vodka flavouring and as an additive in medicine. The fruits are also an importance food source for birds during the winter. Furthermore, the tree is valued as an ornamental and often planted along roadsides and in parks.

European mountain ash grows in altitudes from sea level up to 2400 m. It is tolerant to a wide range of climatic conditions and is also able to compete with neighbouring plants. The tree is typically found in forest edges, rocky sites and riverbanks and is able to grow in the forest understorey. In open habitats, tree often appears as a pioneer species.

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