Prunus virginiana: A pruning job I actually like

I’ve been known to butcher shrubs.  It only makes sense knowing that in my family tree are at least two butchers!  But I digress. What I would like to show you is a native chokecherry pruning job I’ve managed to keep tidy for many years.

chokecherry pruned into a multi-stemmed tree

Keeping this shrub that can grow up to 25 feet in its diminutive state (~ 8 feet) is accomplished by

  • Cutting lower branches off main stems
  • Cutting to the ground unwanted new stems
  • Trimming off about 12 – 16″ of growth to shape.

A chokecherry is a great specimen for this practice as it handles pruning well.

Prunus virginiana L. (chokecherry)

  • Size: 25 feet H x 15 feet wide
  • Green leaves in spring turn to a burgundy in late summer and fall.
  • White spring flowers on the old branches, turn to black berries.  Stones are poisonous when new.
  • Native cultivar suckers. can be maintained with annual removal.
  • Suckering habit can create hedge rows.

The berries are a prize to many bird species and squirrels.  Indians used it in many ways, dried, and in pastes.    Its suggested you do not allow the berries to drop onto materials that can stain, like patios etc.  So what the birds leave perhaps make into chokecherry jelly?

For more information on Native Species or cultivars at Monrovia

This plant’s history
This is the chokecherry in 2007

An amateur gardener who loves to watch the garden grow.