Seed production begins when the tree is about 15 years old. Flowers blossom in May or early June, attracting pollinating insects, including many species of flies, bees and beetles. In mild climates rowan will fruit each year, but in harsher environments, like Glen Affric in Scotland, fruiting is irregular. The berries, which ripen to a bright red colour in August, provide a soft and juicy food for birds such as chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs
), siskins (Carduelis spinus
), and blackbirds (Turdus merula
), which then distribute the seeds in their droppings. Cold weather is required to crack and break down the tough coat of the rowan seed, and germination usually takes place in the first or second spring after the berries have been produced. Rowan trees can live up to an impressive 100 years or more (2).