A tree of fire

This wonderful old rowan tree was photographed in late September in the hills above Braemar.    It was a dull day but the berries and leaves were glowing with autumn colour, making the tree look as if it was on fire.

Mountain ash above Braemar

MtAsh Braemar 2

MtAsh Braemar1

Photos copyright © Colin & Jo Woolf

Mountain ash berries (1)You can read more about this tree’s natural history and folklore in ‘The Enchantment of the Rowan‘ on The Hazel Tree.


  1. Beautiful, love the rowan at this time of year

  2. Splendid!

  3. Susan Abernethy says:

    Yes I agree with Lorna. Splendid!

  4. Oh how lovely the Rowan! I believe there is a debate in Scotland as to which tree should be the tree of Scotland: the Rowan or the (Scott’s Pine?)! Certainly the Rowan is wonderful at this time of year. Also in similar vein but not one for most of Scotland is the Spindle tree. I was surprised this year to see a Spindle tree in similar colours to the Rowan & with beautiful cerise arils.

    • I know, they’re beautiful at this time of year, aren’t they? I love Scots pines, too, and yes, the debate is ongoing as to which tree Scotland should have as its emblem. I think the Scots pine will probably win it, but the rowan will be popular too. I have been writing about spindle trees for the National Trust recently – they are so beautiful. There are a few examples in Trust gardens in Scotland, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them in the wild.

  5. That is quite extraordinary. A burning bush, indeed! The leaves look as if they have been pasted with sticky paint.

  6. Spectacular colours!. The Rowan trees over here still bear their fruit, so bright in these grey, cold and rainy days.

    • This one was a stunning sight – almost as if it was lit from within. I’m hoping we have a lingering autumn so that we can get out for some more photos!

  7. Beautiful, its amazing how they go bright red. But mine still have their berries, not sure whats going on, normally the birds have had them by now.

  8. just wonderful colour

  9. Love the rich amazing color! The tree must have been beautiful glowing in the field. It kind of reminds of how the sumacs around here turn color.

    • I have seen a couple of sumacs in gardens here too – I think they have suffered a bit with the recent wind and rain, though. This rowan tree was a real gem.

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