Whitebeam: Importance and Use

A small tree appreciated by birds and bees, the whitebeam is a hardy species that tolerates drought, sunshine and poor soil.

3253Arbre1820%FRhttps://bocdn.ecotree.green/essence/0001/04/4e5062f14f1183026d31b16e305018c9ee48b752.pngWhitebeamUneven-aged high forest Ajoux Forest 7https://ecotree.green/en/offers/forest/ajoux-foresthttps://ecotree.green/en/offers/7-ardeche/ajoux-forest/whitebeam/3253
Whitebeam €18
Age: 0 to 2 years old
Ajoux Forest
Ardèche, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France


Sorbus aria is found throughout eastern France. In Europe, Whitebeam is found mainly in the Mediterranean basin, but also in parts of England and Ireland. Its name comes from its fruit: small red berries that are edible, though tart and mealy. The Latin word sorbus comes from the Indo-European word for 'red-fruited tree', while aria is the Greek name for an oak tree.

Why EcoTree Plants Whitebeam Trees

Whitebeam is a very good accompanying and diversification species for forests as many of its traits encourage biodiversity and increase the resilience of a forest's ecosystem.
A resistant, heliophilous, and nomadic pioneer species, it can grow in poor soil with high sun exposure which it helps to fertilise and enrich. Sorbus aria grows well in stony and siliceous soils and can handle uneven water supply.
Its red-orange fruit, the whitebeam berry, is a false stone fruit that's very popular with birds.
In the spring, its small white flowers produce nectar that feeds bees and pollinating insects. Its wood also has valuable traits.

Whitebeam - Overview

Whitebeam - Overview

A shrubby tree reaching 3 to 20 metres in height, the whitebeam has a straight trunk and an elliptical crown. Its bark is grey and smooth, but can crack slightly with age. Its olive brown branches alternate between leafy and naked.
The whitebeam has large, sharp, oblong buds that are slightly slimy and greenish-brown scales fringed with white hairs.
Its deciduous leaves are alternating grey-green, jagged ovals with shiny tops and hairy, white undersides. Whitebeams have clusters of consistent white flowers on the short branches. They flowers from April to June, pollinated by insects and seeds dispersed by birds.
It is a species that grows well from the stump.
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Whitebeam - Species requirements

Whitebeam is a light-loving species, preferring sunshine and needing few water reserves. It grows either in mull and eumull soils, ones rich in bases with a basic to neutral pH (i.e. on decarbonation clays, clays or carbonate formations)
or on an oligomull to dysmoder soil, a soil poor in bases, with an acid pH. For example, stony or siliceous silts.

Whitebeam Wood

Whitebeam wood is very hard and dense, fine- and evenly-grained, and matte pinkish-white in colour, which turns red with brown veins with old age. The sapwood cannot be distinguished from the heartwood.
It's used in the same way as other rowan trees, though it is less well known perhaps because its stems are smaller. The wood is used to make tools. In the past, it was used to make friction-resistant machine parts. It is very popular for axe handles. It is also a good fuel that yields as much charcoal as beech. In Haute-Normandie, the whitebeam is a protected species.

Symbolism of the Whitebeam Tree

A nourishing and powerful tree, it symbolises tenacity, endurance, and perseverance.