We are lucky enough to have two species of tree producing 'Chequer berries'; Sorbus torminalis, which is native though rare, being confined to small areas of ancient woodland where it even does well in clay and limey soils. Also known as the Wild Service Tree, it can get up to 15m in height if well sited, with scaly grey peeling bark and maple like leaves.
The Sorbus latifolia is also known as the 'Service tree of Fontainbleau', very similar with only a few subtle differences. It can get a little taller in time with shaggier bark and the leaves downy and pale beneath. Both are good woodland or specimen trees with golden autumn colour and frothy white flowers in spring. Easy to grow, fruiting better in full sun.
The interesting fruit is about 12-18mm, russet and speckled, (rounder and yellow/orange on S. latifolia), said to have a date like flavour if 'bletted', and has some history of use as a flavouring for ale as well.
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(More pictures on our facebook page)