Prunus virginiana (Choke Cherry)

by Everchanging Gardener

in Prunus virginiana - Choke Cherry

Height: 2-9 m (6-30 feet)
Bloom: white in early May
Fall Colour: may turn yellow
Fruit: yes, red

Pros: Ontario Native Tree

Another cherry tree native to the Carolinian or Deciduous Forest Region. Choke Cherry forms a large erect shrub or small tree, often multi-branched as it can form dense thickets from suckering.

The fruit is popular with birds and other wild-life and leaves may be browsed by deer and rabbits. Some books indicate that chokecherry foliage turns yellow in fall although I have not noticed any real colour.

Prunus virginiana Choke Cherry bloomChoke Cherry blooms appear in early May in my Zone 5 garden. Flowers appear in clusters of sprays on current years twigs. Flowers are much smaller although more abundant than longer sprays on Black Cherry (Prunus serotina). Flowers mature to red to black fruit in August although again the birds usually beat me to them.

A native choke cherry in our back garden, this one has grown as a small tree. I have removed many suckers coming from the roots each year in order to maintain this as a single specimen tree.

Prunus virginiana Choke Cherry

Ontario Native Choke Cherry in bloom

Garden Location: Carolinian Garden this specimen was naturally occurring in the brush at the back of our property.

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