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Trees (Native British)

26 27 One of the rarest of Britains native trees, the Wild Service is generally a small to medium sized tree with a wide crown and leaves like a maple both in shape and autumn colouring. In May it is covered in thick white blossom. Cracks form in the bark peeling off into squares, leading to the tree also being known as the Chequers Tree. It has small brown exotically flavoured berries that used to be picked ripe in September then hung outside to sweeten in frosts before being eaten. The berries were also a wellknown cure for dysentry and colic. Regarded as an indicator of ancient woodland it is now much less widespread because of its slow growth and poor germination, although in certain sites it can sucker profusely. The wood is heavy and hard and was used for carving and for making rulers, gauges and instrument components. Wild Service is not to be encouraged as firewood due to its rarity, slow regrowth and unsuitability to coppice management. wIlD SERVICE Sorbus torminalis
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