Our mountain ash
A lot of songs are composed about the trees of our Motherland, but it is unlikely that we still have such a “song” tree as the Russian mountain ash, as it is popularly called. The botanists routinely christened her the mountain ash. However, maybe it was necessary to do so that this mountain ash usual for our country, which is spread throughout the forest and forest-steppe zone of the European part of Russia, was easier to distinguish from thirty-three of its other species, also growing in our forests.
In the temperate zone of the globe, experts count 84 species and many hybrid forms of mountain ash. Nevertheless, the mountain ash ordinary occupies the most honorable place in this large family. Its slender greenish-golden trees with a rounded, compact crown and white flowers in the spring can be seen in many forests, on the streets, in parks and public gardens of cities, along railway and asphalt highways. In autumn, it is especially noticeable due to red-orange fruits, clusters of which hang down among openwork cirrus foliage.
Mountain ash is also represented by a form often found in parks and squares with drooping, weeping branches. This is one of the best decorative forms of mountain ash, which, in addition to weeping, has a spherical and pyramidal crown. The bright fruits of mountain ash, which begin to ripen in late summer, are often called berries, although in their structure they correspond to the fruits of the apple tree. Rowan apples, each no more than a centimeter in diameter, are collected in guards-clusters of 25-40, or even 50 pieces. In each of the apples 4,5, and sometimes 8 small seeds.
The fruits of mountain ash are tart, bitter-sour, and only frozen they are completely edible and tasty. They contain sugar (14 percent), malic acid, tannins, carotene (no less than in carrots) and vitamin C in almost the same amount as blackcurrant, lemon or spruce needles. It is no coincidence that jam fruits, stewed fruit, kvass, vinegar, fillings for confectionery products and tinctures have long been prepared from the fruits of mountain ash.
We will not speak in detail about mountain ash as a medicinal plant, as a source of food for birds and even livestock. But one cannot fail to mention that mountain ash and valuable fruit tree, and good stock, and is important as an accompanying breed in afforestation. It grows rapidly in the first 15–20 years; in subsequent years, its growth slows down somewhat. Fruits annually from 8-10 years of age, lives up to 200 years. The harvest of fruits from one large tree reaches 10 centners.
© Krzysztof P. Jasiutowicz
One cannot help but recall the closest relatives of the mountain ash: mountain ash from the Crimea, bank, or mountain ash from the forests of the Carpathian region, Swedish mountain ash from Scandinavia. Mountain ash gives large and tasty fruits, it is willingly grown in gardens. It is especially appreciated due to the healing properties of the fruits of the bank. Its healing properties are reflected in the scientific name Sorbus Torminalis. In Latin, “Torminalis” means a healing abdominal pain. The wood near the birch is extremely beautiful and durable. The most fastidious furniture connoisseurs in the past ordered sets from cans. Bereka, like Swedish mountain ash, is decorative thanks to the original compact crown.
At the time, I.V. Michurin gave a very high appreciation to the mountain ash, who brought forth excellent varieties with large sweet fruits. Among them are especially good Michurin dessert, liquor, aronia, pomegranate. Now they are bred in many collective farm gardens. The genus of mountain ash is multiplying, and thanks to the efforts of Soviet breeders, its promising varieties have already been selected, although the ordinary Russian mountain ash does not lose its fame.
- S. I. Ivchenko - Book about Trees