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Arran Service Tree

Sorbus arranensis

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rosaceae (Rose)
Also in this family:
Acute Leaf-lobed Lady's-mantle, Alpine Cinquefoil, Alpine Lady's-mantle, Ampfield Cotoneaster, Arran Whitebeam, Barren Strawberry, Bastard Agrimony, Bastard Service Tree, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Bird Cherry, Blackthorn, Bloody Whitebeam, Bramble, Bristol Whitebeam, Broad-leaved Whitebeam, Broadtooth Lady's-mantle, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur, Bullace Plum, Bullate Cotoneaster, Burnet Rose, Catacol Whitebeam, Caucasian Lady's-mantle, Cheddar Whitebeam, Cherry Laurel, Cherry Plum, Chinese Photinia, Cloudberry, Clustered Lady's-mantle, Common Agrimony, Common Hawthorn, Common Lady's-mantle, Common Medlar, Common Ninebark, Common Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Creeping Chinese Bramble, Creeping Cinquefoil, Crimean Lady's-mantle, Cultivated Apple, Cultivated Pear, Cut-leaved Blackberry, Damson, Devon Whitebeam, Dewberry, Diel's Cotoneaster, Dog Rose, Doward Whitebeam, Dropwort, Elm-leaved Bramble, English Whitebeam, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, False Salmonberry, Field Rose, Firethorn, Fodder Burnet, Fragrant Agrimony, Franchet's Cotoneaster, Garden Lady's-mantle, Garden Strawberry, Giant Meadowsweet, Glaucous Dog Rose, Goatsbeard Spiraea, Gough's Rock Whitebeam, Great Burnet, Greengage Plum, Grey-leaved Whitebeam, Hairless Lady's-mantle, Hairy Lady's-mantle, Hautbois Strawberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Himalayan Cotoneaster, Himalayan Whitebeam, Hoary Cinquefoil, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Hupeh Rowan, Hybrid Cinquefoil, Hybrid Geum, Irish Whitebeam, Japanese Cherry, Japanese Quince, Japanese Rose, Jew's Mallow, Juneberry, Lancaster Whitebeam, Late Cotoneaster, Least Lady's-mantle, Least Whitebeam, Leigh Woods Whitebeam, Ley's Whitebeam, Liljefor's Whitebeam, Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Llangollen Whitebeam, Llanthony Whitebeam, Lleyn Cotoneaster, Loganberry, Many-flowered Rose, Margaret's Whitebeam, Marsh Cinquefoil, Meadowsweet, Midland Hawthorn, Mougeot's Whitebeam, Mountain Ash, Mountain Avens, Mountain Sibbaldia, Moupin's Cotoneaster, No Parking Whitebeam, Ocean Spray, Orange Whitebeam, Pale Bridewort, Pale Lady's-mantle, Parsley Piert, Pirri-pirri-bur, Plymouth Pear, Portuguese Laurel, Purple-flowered Raspberry, Quince, Raspberry, Rock Cinquefoil, Rock Lady's-mantle, Rock Whitebeam, Round-leaved Dog Rose, Round-leaved Whitebeam, Rum Cherry, Russian Cinquefoil, Salad Burnet, Sargent's Rowan, Scannell's Whitebeam, Service Tree, Sharp-toothed Whitebeam, Sherard's Downy Rose, Shining Lady's-mantle, Ship Rock Whitebeam, Short-styled Rose, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Silver Lady's-mantle, Silverweed, Slender Parsley Piert, Slender-spined Bramble, Small-flowered Sweetbriar, Small-leaved Sweetbriar, Soft Downy Rose, Somerset Whitebeam, Sorbaria, Sour Cherry, Southern Downy Rose, Southern Lady's-mantle, Spineless Acaena, Spring Cinquefoil, St. Lucie's Cherry, Steeplebush, Stern's Cotoneaster, Stirton's Whitebeam, Stone Bramble, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Swedish Service Tree, Swedish Whitebeam, Sweet Briar, Symond's Yat Whitebeam, Tengyueh Cotoneaster, Thimbleberry, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Tree Cotoneaster, Trefoil Cinquefoil, Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Two-spined Acaena, Wall Cotoneaster, Water Avens, Waterer's Cotoneaster, Waxy Lady's-mantle, Welsh Cotoneaster, Welsh Whitebeam, White Burnet, White's Whitebeam, White-stemmed Bramble, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Plum, Wild Service Tree, Wild Strawberry, Willmott's Whitebeam, Willow-leaved Bridewort, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Deciduous tree
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
25 metres tall
Moorland, riversides.

White, 5 petals
Clusters of white flowers with cream-coloured anthers.
Elongated, orange-red berries.
Oval, deeply lobed, pointed leaves, up to 13cm long and 10.5cm wide. Greyish on the undersides of the leaves. This tree is found in the northern part of the Isle of Arran.
Other Names:
Cut-leaved Whitebeam.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Other Information


Arran Service Tree (Sorbus arranensis) is a species of tree in the family Rosaceae. It is native to the island of Arran, Scotland. The tree typically grows to be about 15-25 meters tall and has a broad-rounded canopy. It has leaves which are alternate, simple and lobed. The tree produces small, white or pink flowers that grow in clusters, and it bears small, red or yellow-orange berries. The tree is known for its hard, durable wood, which is used for making furniture and tool handles, and the fruit is also edible and can be used to make jams, jellies and cider. It is also cultivated as an ornamental tree and it is known for its medicinal properties, in traditional medicine it is used as a treatment for various ailments, including diarrhea and fever.


The Arran Service Tree, or Sorbus arranensis, is a beautiful and rare species of tree that is native to the Isle of Arran in Scotland. This tree is part of the rose family and is closely related to the rowan tree, which is also commonly found in Scotland.

The Arran Service Tree is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree that can reach heights of up to 25 meters. Its leaves are pinnate, which means that they are composed of multiple leaflets arranged along a central stem. The leaflets are green in the summer and turn a vibrant orange and red in the autumn, adding a beautiful display of color to the landscape.

One of the most striking features of the Arran Service Tree is its fruit. The tree produces clusters of small, round berries that start off green and turn bright red as they ripen. These berries are a valuable food source for birds, which helps to spread the tree's seeds and ensure the continued growth of the species.

The Arran Service Tree is a rare and endangered species, with only around 250 individual trees known to exist in the wild. The main threats to the tree are habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as the introduction of non-native species that can outcompete the Arran Service Tree for resources.

Conservation efforts are currently underway to protect and conserve the Arran Service Tree. One of the key steps being taken is the creation of new habitats for the tree, both within its natural range on the Isle of Arran and in other locations across Scotland.

In addition, efforts are being made to raise awareness of the importance of the Arran Service Tree and its role in the ecosystem. By highlighting the beauty and value of this rare species, conservationists hope to inspire people to take action to protect and conserve it for future generations to enjoy.

The Arran Service Tree is a beautiful and rare species that plays an important role in the ecosystem. By supporting conservation efforts and raising awareness of the tree's value, we can help ensure that it continues to thrive and enrich the natural world around us.

In addition to its ecological significance, the Arran Service Tree also has cultural and historical importance. In Scottish folklore, the tree was believed to have magical properties, and was often associated with fairies and other supernatural beings. It was said that the berries of the Arran Service Tree had the power to ward off evil spirits, and that the wood of the tree was used to make magical wands and staffs.

The Arran Service Tree also has a long history of traditional use in Scotland. The berries were once used to make a type of wine known as "sorrel," and were also used in the production of a tart jelly. The wood of the tree was prized for its strength and durability, and was used in the construction of houses, furniture, and tools.

Today, the Arran Service Tree is primarily valued for its aesthetic and ecological qualities. The tree's striking appearance and autumn colors make it a popular choice for ornamental planting, and it is often found in parks, gardens, and other public spaces. The tree's importance as a food source for birds and other wildlife also makes it an important part of the ecosystem, contributing to biodiversity and supporting healthy ecosystems.

If you are interested in learning more about the Arran Service Tree, there are many resources available online and in print. You can also visit the Isle of Arran to see the tree in its natural habitat, and to learn more about its conservation and cultural significance. By supporting efforts to protect and conserve this rare and beautiful species, we can help ensure that it continues to enrich the natural world for generations to come.

The scientific name of the Arran Service Tree, Sorbus arranensis, reflects its unique status as a distinct species. The tree was first identified as a separate species in 2007, after genetic and morphological analysis showed that it was distinct from other members of the Sorbus genus. The Arran Service Tree is one of only a few species of tree that are endemic to Scotland, meaning that they are found nowhere else in the world.

Despite its rarity and unique status, the Arran Service Tree is still at risk of extinction. In addition to the threats of habitat loss and fragmentation, the tree is also vulnerable to disease and climate change. However, with ongoing conservation efforts and public awareness campaigns, there is hope that the tree can be saved from extinction and continue to thrive in the wild.

One of the most important ways to support the conservation of the Arran Service Tree is to avoid damaging or destroying its natural habitat. This means avoiding activities such as logging, development, and road building in areas where the tree is known to grow. It is also important to avoid introducing non-native species that could compete with the Arran Service Tree for resources or spread diseases that could harm the tree.

If you are interested in supporting the conservation of the Arran Service Tree, there are many organizations and groups that are working to protect and conserve this rare and beautiful species. By donating to these groups, volunteering your time, or simply spreading the word about the importance of the Arran Service Tree, you can help ensure that this unique and valuable species continues to thrive for generations to come.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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