True service-tree

Sorbus domestica

Native range

An uncommon tree in lowland Britain which is native to southern parts of Europe though widely naturalised further north.

Provenance choice

There is no information on provenance variation in Britain so plants should be of local origin or from the near continent. This is a light demanding species which is generally found as an isolated individual or group of trees in broadleaved woodland; large diameter trees are highly valued for their timber. It is less cold and frost hardy than rowan and should only be grown on suitable sites in lowland Britain. Best growth is to be found on soils of medium to very rich nutrient status and of slightly dry to fresh moisture status, including alkaline soils of good rooting depth. It is not suited to wet or very wet soils or those of very poor nutrient status.

Pests and pathogens

Can be affected by fireblight (Erwinia amylovora)and silverleaf (Chondrostereum purpureum) which can be a progressive and often fatal disease.


With climate warming, more sites in lowland Britain may become suitable for this species.