For people who enjoy helping wildlife and planting native plants, the Showy Mountain Ash tree is a real winner. Showy Mountain Ash can be found growing wild in the northern half of Minnesota and is easy to spot along the North Shore of Lake Superior.
In springtime, the Showy Mountain Ash delights with lovely white flowers and prefers to grow in fairly well drained soils and plenty of sun. It is in late summer that the Showy Mountain Ash really puts on a show, as large clusters of brilliant orange-red berries mature and cover the tree. The berry clusters of the Showy Mountain Ash treat us humans to a visual feast of intense color, and treat the wildlife to a delicious meal. Birds eat these berries of the Showy Mountain Ash and especially are preferred by the flocks of Cedar Wax Wings. I have also noticed that deer like to eat the lowest hanging fruit.
The Showy Mountain Ash grows to a height of 20-25 feet tall and about 20 feet wide at maturity, so it is a modest sized tree that fits well in many landscapes. Able to withstand winter temperatures of 50 degrees below zero, this tree is among the hardiest of landscape plants, and one of my all time favorites.