20/09: New seed harvest nearly all in, plug plant delivery 1-2 weeks. Now accepting orders for bare root plants for delivery from November. £50 minimum order.

Wild service tree, Sorbus torminalis
Wild Service Tree (Sorbus torminalis)

Wild Service Tree (Sorbus torminalis)

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Order now for delivery from November
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Wild Service Tree (Sorbus torminalis)

Distinct from the Service Tree (Sorbus domestica), the Wild Service Tree, also known as the "Chequer" or "Chequerberry" Tree, is now one of our rarest native trees. It's concentrated in the southern Weald, where it is associated with ancient woodland and clay soils. At a distance Wild Service Trees can be mistaken for ornamental Acers in the autumn when their leaves turn bright red and copper. It's stunning, and flowers beautifully too, in late spring.
The Wild Service Tree suckers freely, which is just as well as its crop of fruit - or "chequers" - is almost entirely predated by birds and insects. The fruit is edible for us once frosted and softened; it was a Neolithic staple and remained popular into the 19th century. Inevitably folk also made wine out of it, served at Chequers Inns - possibly also at the Prime Minister's Chequers country residence! 

Like all the native trees we sell, our Sorbus torminalis are grown in the UK from UK origin seed.

Suppliers: Perrie Hale Forest Nursery, RV Roger, British Hardwood Trees.

Your purchase helps us support a range of charitieswhich are related to the products we sell.          

Please note that standard sizes relate to tree girths in cm. We can supply large trees with girths of up to 25cm (i.e. 15 to 20ft tall). As delivery charges for them vary considerably for them please ask for a quote.

See our planting and size guide for details and tips on planting. All these Wild Service trees are bare root, and are consequently available for delivery from November until March. During this period there may be up to two week's delay between placing the order and dispatching (longer for standards), due to weather conditions or pressure of orders, which are dealt with in date sequence. Orders for Wild Service trees placed between March and September are confirmed in October ready for dispatch from November.


  • Ultimate Height


  • Ultimate Spread


  • Time to Ultimate Height

    Over 20 years


  • Type

    Clay, loam, sand, chalk

  • pH

    Neutral, acid, alkaline


  • Position

    Sheltered or exposed

  • Sunlight

    Full or partial sun