I had intended to respond directly to Jill with the following but
the continuing interest suggested the response go to the list.
Jill's inquiry was: 1) is it legally available in the US?, and,
2) will it grow in NY state?... or something close to this.
Wyman's Garden Encyclopedia (an older edition) says "(the Rowan
tree)... has been a popular ornamental in America since colonial
times..." and is even "naturalized in Alaska". Wymans lists a
half dozen commercial varieties (interpret as mutations such as
weeping, yellow berries rather than reddish , differently edged
leaves", etc.). Wyman's says it grows to 45 feet.
It is offered in the 1994 Mellinger's catalog (page 29) as the
European Mt Ash. Mellinger's description indicates the tree
grows to a lesser height than 45 feet (think it was 30 feet).
Regarding tree height. Most tree species achieve maximum height
in well-drained, deep soil. The heavy (nondraining) clay (hardly
any soil at all) where I live does not allow an American Mt Ash
to live more than a few years. Oaks, maples and other trees
do not grow anywhere nearly as tall as they do in better areas.
Hawthornes were mentioned. Hawthornes typically do very well in
heavy clay soil but many varieties max at about 20 feet. And
the thorns can be hazardous (but I love my haws).
John Pedlow in Buffalo, NY