Quicken-Tree, Mountain-Ash, or Roan-tree, Sorbus aucu-paria, L. (Pyrus aucuparia of Dr. Smith), an indigenous shrub growing in woods and hedges: in mountainous and buggy situations ; principally in Wales, Scotland, and the northern parts of England : it flowers in the month of May.
The mountain-ash may be reared either as a shrub, or as a large tree, according to the soil in which it is planted : it.flourishes best on the sides of bills in sheltered situations, and in fertile lands, where it attains a considerable size. It forms part of many ornamental plantations, on account of the beauty of its growth, flowers, and foliage, and particularly of its red berries; which, be-ing produced in great abundance, afford a charming appearance from the end of autumn, till they are devoured by the birds, mice, etc. in the winter.—The wood is soft, tough, and durable, being advan-tageously converted into tables, spokes for wheels, chairs, etc.: the roots are- likewise very firm, and are formed Into spoons, handles for knives, and similar utensils.
The berries of the mountain-ash, though generallv devoured by black-birds and thrushes, may with more advantage be given to cattle, sheep, and especially to poultry, all of (which animals eat them eagerly.—When infused in water, this fruit makes an acid liquor, resem-bling perry, that constitutes a principal beverage of the lower orders of the Welch people, in the island of Jura, the juice of the berries- is employed as an acid for punch: on distillation, they yield a considerable portion of ardent spirit, which possesses a fine flavour; but, for this purpose, they ought to be previously frozen : we conceive, however, that these berries, when dried and pulverized, might, in times of scarcity, be more beneficially converted into a wholesome bread; though Beckmann informs us,that 12lbs. of such fruit yielded three quarts of brandy.—In tanning, the branches, leaves, and unripe fruit of this tree, have all been usefully employed, both by Gleditsch and Bautsch.