Most of our Mountain Ash trees have dropped their leaves, making their bright red-orange berries more accessible to the wintering birds and more visible to us. Mystery and folklore surround these trees.
They’re not Ash trees; they’re members the rose tree family. They’re also called Rowan Trees here because our early Scots and Irish settlers mistakenly thought they were the same as European Rowans, which the Celts thought were magical. In nearby Canada, they’re known as Dogberry Trees and their berries are used to make Dogberry Jam.
Many old-timers believe that an abundance of Mountain Ash berries in the Fall means a harsh winter. Guess what we have now. Right: an abundance. (Brooklin, Maine)