Sorry! Our minimum order is £100. 10/4 Good weather for sowing over the next fortnight.

Wild service tree, Sorbus torminalis
Cell grown Sorbus torminalis

Wild Service Tree (Torminalis glaberrima)

Distinct from the Service Tree (Sorbus or Cormus 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, Torminalis glaberrima, 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. Dispatched from late November to end March. British grown from British seed. Please scroll down for more details...
Regular price
£25.00
Regular price
Sale price
£25.00
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per 
Availability
Sold out
Prices include VAT (when applicable) and delivery to mainland UK.
We're currently selling cell grown plants, ideal for planting from March - May.

Click here to be notified by email when Wild Service Tree (Torminalis glaberrima) becomes available.

Wild Service Tree (Torminalis glaberrima)

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. Worse, much of the seed it produces isn't viable, which makes it notoriously difficult to grow in the nursery, but once it has got away it seems very easy. Its association with ancient woodland suggests how shade tolerant it is, although it does need at least partial sun; I suspect its delcine has something to do with lack of active woodland management.

The fruit is edible for us once frosted and softened (like medlars, I guess). 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!

Our Plants For Sale

Like all the native trees and wildflowers we sell, our Torminalis glaberrima are grown in the UK from UK origin seed. As you might have worked out already, they're really difficult to find to buy! That's partly as they have very low germination rates, which also limits their numbers in the wild. By the way, in case you're confused, they used to be a Sorbus, Sorbus torminalis, but are now recognised as being in their own genus. Their botanical moniker is now Torminalis glaberrima.

We offer Wild Service trees as nice 40-60cm cell grown plants, in multiples of 5 (see photo).

The plants have to be dormant when lifted and dispatched. This means we are only able to send them between the end of November and end March.

Suppliers: Exmoor Trees, RV Roger.

Please note that standard sizes relate to tree girths in cm. We can sometimes supply large trees with girths of up to 8cm (i.e. 8ft 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. Delivery is usually from November until March. During this period there may be up to a month'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.

Size

  • Ultimate Height

    25m

  • Ultimate Spread

    20m

  • Time to Ultimate Height

    Over 20 years

Soil

  • Type

    Clay, loam, sand, chalk

  • pH

    Neutral, acid, alkaline

Situation

  • Position

    Sheltered or exposed

  • Sunlight

    Full or partial sun

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