Korean Mountain Ash Sorbus alnifolia

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Korean mountain ash


Sorbus alnifolia, commonly known as the Korean mountain ash, is a species of flowering plant that exhibits several distinctive features in its appearance. The plant typically displays a rounded crown with branching that creates a pleasing, somewhat layered look. Its leaves are reminiscent of those found on alder trees, hence its Latin name. They are simple, with fine serrations along the edges, providing a delicate texture to the foliage. During the growing season, these leaves are a rich green hue, which transitions to a striking array of warm colors in the fall, showcasing shades of yellow, orange, and red. The Korean mountain ash is also recognized for its attractive blossoms. In spring, it produces clusters of small, white flowers. These flowers are five-petaled and grouped together in showy corymbs, which are quite conspicuous against the backdrop of green leaves. By late summer or early fall, the flowers give way to bunches of small pome fruits. The color of the fruits typically ranges from bright red to orange, and they persist on the tree into the winter, providing visual interest even after the leaves have fallen. These berries are appealing to birds and other wildlife, adding to the ecological value of the plant. Beneath the foliage, the bark of the Korean mountain ash is smooth, with a grayish color that can develop subtle patterns over time. Younger stems may have a more reddish hue, which becomes more muted as they age. The overall texture and coloration of the bark contribute to the plant's year-round ornamental appeal, lending it a certain elegance in the landscape.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Korean Mountain Ash, Alder-leafed Whitebeam, Alder-leaved Serviceberry.

    • Common names

      Pyrus alnifolia, Sorbus alnifolia var. alnifolia, Sorbus alnifolia var. japonica, Sorbus commixta.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Sorbus alnifolia, commonly known as the Korean Mountain Ash, is not generally regarded as a toxic plant to humans. There is no well-documented evidence of toxicity in humans from ingesting parts of this plant. However, it is always advisable to avoid consuming parts of ornamental plants due to potential unpredictability in individual reactions or the possible presence of yet unidentified compounds.

    • To pets

      The Korean Mountain Ash is also not widely recognized as a toxic plant to pets such as dogs and cats. While there is no specific documentation of toxicity from Sorbus alnifolia to pets, as with humans, it is recommended to prevent pets from ingesting plants that are not intended for animal consumption, as individual animals might react differently, and gastrointestinal upset could occur.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      20-30 feet (6-9 meters)

    • Spread

      15-20 feet (4.5-6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Landscape Aesthetics: Sorbus alnifolia, commonly known as Korean Mountain Ash, offers ornamental value with its attractive white blossoms in spring and colorful fruits and foliage in the fall.
    • Wildlife Support: It provides food for various bird species, including thrushes and waxwings, which feed on the berry-like pomes.
    • Shade Provider: Korean Mountain Ash can grow to a medium size, offering shade in gardens and streetscapes.
    • Erosion Control: Its root system helps stabilize soil on slopes, reducing erosion risks.
    • Pollinator Attraction: The spring flowers attract bees and other pollinators, which are essential for garden health and biodiversity.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antioxidant: Sorbus alnifolia contains compounds that have been suggested to have antioxidant properties.
    • Anti-inflammatory: Components of the plant may possess anti-inflammatory effects.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Sorbus alnifolia, commonly known as the Korean mountain ash, can be cultivated as bonsai for ornamental purposes, allowing enthusiasts to enjoy its aesthetic in miniature form.
    • The wood of Korean mountain ash is sometimes used in fine woodworking for making decorative items, due to its hardness and attractive grain.
    • The tree's berries can be fermented to produce a homemade wine with a distinctive flavor, though this use is not widespread.
    • Landscapers may use the Korean mountain ash as a natural screen or hedge, as the tree's dense foliage provides effective privacy.
    • In larger gardens and parks, the Korean mountain ash serves as a shade tree, offering cool spots for relaxation during sunny days.
    • The blossoms of the Korean mountain ash provide an important source of nectar for bees during the flowering season, supporting local bee populations.
    • The contrasting color of its leaves in the fall offers an aesthetic resource for artists and photographers seeking seasonal imagery.
    • Leaves of the Korean mountain ash can be used in creating natural dyes for fabric, though this is an unconventional application.
    • The tree can be incorporated into windbreak designs on farms to reduce soil erosion and protect crops from damaging winds.
    • Wood from the Korean mountain ash can be used in the crafting of musical instruments, such as certain types of flutes, because of its acoustic properties.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Korean Mountain Ash is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Korean Mountain Ash is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection: Sorbus alnifolia, commonly known as the Korean Mountain Ash, is often associated with protection due to its sturdy nature and the protective habitat it offers for wildlife.
    • Wisdom: Trees in general symbolize wisdom, and the Korean Mountain Ash, being a long-lived tree, embodies knowledge and the wisdom of time.
    • Endurance: The ability of the Korean Mountain Ash to withstand various climates symbolizes endurance and the capacity to thrive through challenges.
    • Renewal: The seasonal nature of the Korean Mountain Ash, especially its transformation in the fall, represents renewal and the cycle of life.

Every 2-3 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Korean Mountain Ash prefers consistent moisture but does not like to be waterlogged. It's important to water the tree thoroughly once a week with about 1.5 gallons of water, adjusting for rainfall and conditions such as temperature and soil drainage. During hot, dry periods, watering frequency should increase, especially for newly planted trees. Established trees can tolerate some drought, but prolonged dryness can cause stress. It is best to water deeply at the base of the tree to encourage root development rather than frequent, shallow watering.

  • sunLight

    The Korean Mountain Ash thrives in full sun to partial shade. Ideally, the tree should receive at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. The best spot for this plant would be an open area where it can receive ample morning light, which is less intense, and partial afternoon shade to protect it from the harsh late-day sun.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Korean Mountain Ash is hardy and can withstand a broad range of temperatures, generally between 20°F and 80°F. The ideal growing temperatures are between 50°F and 70°F. It is capable of surviving colder winter temperatures down to around -20°F but prolonged exposure to such extreme cold could damage the tree.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Korean Mountain Ash helps maintain its shape, remove dead or diseased wood, and encourage healthy growth. It is best pruned in the late winter or early spring, when the tree is dormant, to minimize stress. Annual pruning may be carried out to remove any crossed branches, thin out dense growth, and improve air circulation through the canopy.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Korean Mountain Ash prefers well-drained, slightly acidic soil with pH between 5.5 and 6.5. An ideal soil mixture can be created by blending equal parts of garden soil, peat moss or leaf mould, and sharp sand to improve drainage. Adding compost will also provide necessary nutrients for healthy growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Korean Mountain Ash trees growing in containers should be repotted every 2 to 3 years. Young trees grow relatively fast and should be checked annually to see if they have become root-bound. When repotting, select a container that is one size larger than its current one.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Korean Mountain Ash trees are quite hardy and can tolerate a wide range of humidity conditions; they do not require any specific humidity level. Average outdoor humidity is suitable for this tree.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Korean Mountain Ash near a sunny window and ensure moderate humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in a sunny spot with well-drained soil and water regularly.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Korean Mountain Ash (Sorbus alnifolia) begins its life cycle as a seed, which after dispersal typically germinates in the spring when temperatures are suitable. The seedling stage follows, characterized by initial root development and the emergence of the seedling's first leaves. Growth continues as the seedling develops into a juvenile tree, where more leaves emerge and photosynthesis allows it to grow stronger and taller. As it matures into an adult tree, it develops flowers in late spring, which are pollinated by insects, leading to the production of berries by late summer or fall. The berries are subsequently eaten by birds and other wildlife, which aid in seed dispersal. Finally, the plant enters a senescent phase as it ages, where growth slows down, and it eventually dies, completing its life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: Korean Mountain Ash (Sorbus alnifolia) is often propagated through seeds, which is the most popular method. The best time to sow the seeds is in the fall, directly after they have been harvested. Seeds require stratification, a period of cold treatment, to break dormancy. This is commonly done by mixing the seeds with moist sand and storing them in the refrigerator at around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) for approximately 90-120 days. After stratification, the seeds can be sown in well-drained soil in a sunny to a partially shaded location. The seeds take several weeks to germinate, and the resulting seedlings grow slowly. Once they are large enough to handle, typically when they have a couple of sets of true leaves, they can be transplanted into individual pots or their final location in the garden.