American Mountain-Ash – Sorbus americana
Sevier County, Gatlinburg, Tennessee • United States
Leaflets: 2-4" long (5-10cm), 1/2-1" wide (1-2.5cm)
The leaves of this small tree resemble a sumac. There are 11-17 narrow, pointy leaflets in each compound leaf. Each leaflet is 4-8 times longer than it is wide and has sharply toothed edges. Clumps of 1/2" wide, white flowers appear in mid-June, followed by striking, orange-red berries in September.
• HABITAT–Found only above 5,000’ in the park. It’s one of the dominant trees in the Clingmans Dome area. American mountain-ash grows in exposed and disturbed areas, often moving in where windstorms have downed other trees.
• SIGNIFICANCE–This is primarily a northern species which reaches the southern limit of its range in the Smokies, Bears are known to climb American mountain-ash trees to get to the berries. Songbirds are also fond of the attractive berries and reportedly become intoxicated from eating them. When the fruits appear in September, the fall colors at the high elevations will soon follow. A number of park trees are being defoliated by the non-native European mountain-ash sawfly.
• FALL COLOR–salmon-red or yellow
Source: Trees of the Smokies, Steve Kemp, Great Smoky Mountains Association Gatlinburg, Tennessee 2006 page 91
c Lille UlvenAppalachianGatlinburgGreat Smoky MountainsGreat Smoky Mountains National ParkNational ParksNewfound GapNewfound Gap RoadNorth AmericaSevier CountySorbus americanaSouthTennesseeUS United States of Americaamerican mountain ashautumnbroadleafed treecultureenvironmentgrovehigh mountainslandscapeplaceplantrecreationseasontourist attractiontravelvacation