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The trees / Whitebeam - Sorbus intermedia


 The leaves are green above, and densely hairy with pale grey-white hairs beneath, have oval lobes on each side of the leaf, and finely serrated margins. Young trees have smooth brownish grey bark, on older trees lighter with shallow fissures. Whitebeam blossoms in June and the red fruits are ripe in September. They are edible and have a sweet taste. It needs plenty of light and soil rich in lime. It is storm proof and has been used to shelter from winds in alleys and hedges. It is often found at old farms, on grazing land and along roads. It is also a common park- and garden tree who can get 20 meters high and about 100 years old.

The wood

It is yellowish white without visible heartwood. Older trees sometimes have a dark asymmetrical area in the center. It is hard, resilient and is difficult to split. It easily distorts when seasoned.Used for cogs in mill machinery, wooden bolts and nuts, knobs and handles. Folding rules were made from whitebeam and it was considered the best wood for bowling balls and cones.


Did you know that:

  • The berries are popularly called fart berries.
  • They can be popped just like popcorn.
  • The best divining rods used when searching for hidden treasures were made from whitebeam.

Oxel, blommknoppar / Whitebeam, flower buds

Oxel, frukt / Whitebeam, fruit

Oxelstam / Trunk of Whitebeam

Oxelträd på sommaren / Whitebeam in Summer