Rowan Sorbus domestica or peer Service tree

Rowan Sorbus domestica or the peer is an old fruit tree with fake fruits as big as a cherry or plum
peer Rowan

Sorbus domestica (Bot.)
Service tree (Eng.)
Sorbier domestique (French)
Speierling, Haus-Eberesche, Sperberbaum (German)
Rosaceae – Rose family

The rowan is an old pear fruit tree that is planted with us often. The ancient Greeks and Romans cultivated this tree to all its fruits. Since the 9th century, the peer Rowan also grown in Central Europe, especially in German and Austrian wine regions.

Later it preferred other fruits. Even in the wild, this tree is now rare. To prevent that he would completely disappear, it has been in mixed oak forests, parks and old orchards planted. In 1993, the pear tree to ash in Germany in the years named, so he was better known to the public again. Since then new, young specimens planted.

In the wild, we find him today on the peninsula of Crimea, the Black Lake, in Central and Southeastern Europe, the Balkans and the Mediterranean marine areas. Also on the south coast of Wales he is.

rowan leaves of pear

Plant Characteristics

The peer Rowan is a slow grower, and all of Sorbus species are highest, ie 12-15 m. If he can even forest tree 30 m tall. These large trees have a broad crown. The leaves resemble those of the rowan. They are odd pinnate and have 12 to 16 leaves. A striking feature of ancient trees, the rough, pear-like bark. The light pink flowers appear in April / May in tuile. Part of the flower develops into peer – or apple-shaped fruits that ripen from September to October. The fruits are apparent and the size of a cherry or plum. The decaying fruit of the tree are green, yellow or yellow-green, the sunlit side is also red. The content of tannin (tannin), malic acid and vitamin C is greatest in semi-ripe state. The fruits are bitter and inedible.

They should be several weeks before they are fit for consumption. The fruits are ripened on the tree after the first frost tender and sweet and then fall from the tree itself. They are in Germany sometimes offered on the market.


The expressed juice of ripe fruits is used as blending in apple juice and cider, so that more aromatic, more sustainable and are easier to digest.

This is the most famous apple ‘Frankfurter Äppelwoi’ from Hesse (Germany). The fruit can also win liqueur and vinegar.

They can also be used in the manufacture of jams and jellies. In Bulgaria the fruit chutney until well incorporated. In Russia, they added to fruit tarts.


The peer Rowan loves a mild climate and a nutritious, preferably lime or clay loamy soil and a bright, sunny spot. He is somewhat frost sensitive.

Pruning and replanting is not recommended, because the tree is not the disruption of their root system holds.

unripe fruit


Propagation takes place by seeding, but this is a rather difficult task because the hard seeds germinate. But seeding is possible when rootstock with hawthorn or quince.


Especially young trees can suffer from the fungus Venturia inaequalis. Older specimens can be like, but will not have many problems.

nearly ripe fruit


Sorbus domestica pomifera has apple-shaped fruits.
Sorbus domestica pyrifera has pear-shaped fruits. Pyrifera in the wild more often than Pomifera.

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