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You are here >1Up Info > Wildlife, Animals, and Plants > Plant Species > Shrub > Species: Sorbus sitchensis | Sitka Mountain-Ash
 

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BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Sorbus sitchensis | Sitka Mountain-Ash
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Sitka mountain-ash is a native, deciduous shrub 4 to 8 feet (1.2-2.4 m) tall, or a small tree up to 20 feet (4.5-6.0 m) tall and 6 inches (15 cm) d.b.h. On rocky alpine sites at higher elevations Sitka mountain-ash is often only 1 to 2 feet (0.3-0.6 m) tall. Leaves are pinnately compound and are 4 to 8 inches (10-20 cm) long with 7 to 11 leaflets. Sitka mountain-ash bark is thin and smooth. Flowers are borne in terminal corymbs with 15 to 60 flowers per head. Fruits are small pommes [39]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Sitka mountain-ash mainly propagates by seed [32,38]. Mountain-ashes (Sorbus spp.) begin producing seed at about 15 years of age and usually produce a good seed crop every year. Seeds are mainly dispersed by birds. Seedlings are hardy and are not very susceptible to insects or disease, but may be injured by deer browsing [14]. Cooper [7] reports that American mountain-ash (S. americana), a closely related species, sprouts from the stump when top-killed. Propagation: Cleaned seeds have been stored for 2 to 8 years without loss of viability. Seeds sown in the spring require 60 or more days of previous stratification at 32 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit (0-5 deg C) in moist sand, moss, soil, or other medium. Unstratified seed should be sown in the fall or early winter. Germination is slower and not as successful if seeds are not removed from the berries before sowing [14]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Sitka mountain-ash occurs in dry to moist, well-drained sandy loam or other soils [38]. In southern and southeastern Alaska, Sitka mountain-ash is an uncommon to rare forest tree, occurring from sea level to timberline along the coast [39]. In coastal British Columbia, Sitka mountain-ash is an indicator of moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-poor soils. It is common but scattered in British Columbia, where it is found in montane to subalpine, open-canopy coniferous forests. Its occurrence there increases with increasing precipitation and elevation [22]. In the Pacific Northwest, it occurs in mid- to upper-elevation coniferous forests and forest openings, and is particularly widespread from 3,000 to 5,000 feet (900-1,515 m) on the western slope of the Cascade Range [35]. Sitka mountain-ash is found at elevations from 3,400 to 6,700 feet (1,030-2,030 m) in Montana [9]. In the Bitterroot Mountains of west-central Montana, it is most often found in moist, deep soils along creeks or streams [24]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Sitka mountain-ash is shade intolerant and persists in clearings [22]. It is present in many climax forests and plant associations [2,3,12,15,34,36]. Sitka mountain-ash may inhibit growth of other vegetation [8]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Sitka mountain-ash flowers from June to July. Fruits ripen from September to October and persist through late winter [14,39].

Related categories for Species: Sorbus sitchensis | Sitka Mountain-Ash

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Information Courtesy: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory. Fire Effects Information System

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