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A picture of a Wild Service Tree

Wild Service Tree

Sorbus torminalis

Also known as

Chequer Tree, Checker Tree, Checkers, Chequers, Griping Tree, Sorb, Wild Servicetree

Sorbus torminalis 2 by Franz Xaver (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size






50 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Wild Service Tree

A Sorbus torminalis tree
Wild Service Tree (Sorbus torminalis) – full tree. Gamlingay Wood, Cambridgeshire, is a small ancient wood which has been copiced since at least the 13th century. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSI) in part because it contains one of the last remaining pockets of truly wild Wild Service Trees in Britain.
A group of fruit sitting on a Sorbus torminalis branch
A close up of a Sorbus torminalis plant
A photo of Wild Service Tree

Wild Service Tree Overview

Sorbus torminalis is commonly known by the names Wild Service Tree and Checker Tree, amongst others. It is a deciduous tree species from the Rosaceae family. This hardy tree has a spreading habit, growing to around 25m in height. Leaves are lobed and display attractive autumn colouration, turning red-brown. Flowers appear from early summer, they are cream in colour and lead onto small brown fruits. Grow in full sun to partial shade, in moist, well-draining soil. Now thought to be better named Torminalis glaberrima.

How to propagate Wild Service Tree




Special features of Wild Service Tree

Attractive leaves