Audubon® Common Chokecherry
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The word “Chokecherry” gives you a pretty good indication of what this sassy little tree’s fruits taste like. They are indeed bitter enough to make you choke! Fortunately, birds absolutely adore chokecherries. It is estimated that at least 70 species of birds ravish the quarter-inch drupes in late summer. Eastern Bluebirds are eager customers, as are robins, grosbeaks, catbirds, cardinals, Blue Jays, tanagers, orioles, and cedar waxwings. Add to that bounty the many, many caterpillars and other insects that this tree hosts, and you have a veritable songbird smorgasbord. Bon appetit!
May Benefit & Attract: Thrushes, cardinals & grosbeaks, catbirds, jays, tanagers, orioles, waxwings
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AA (2-3' tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 2-6
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Recommended by Our Growers
Chokecherry is a denizen of the North; it is most prevalent in the upper Midwest, New England, and well into Canada—where winter temperatures can drop to -50ºF! Its range also dips down into some southern states, but usually only at high altitudes. For ancient Native Americans in the North, chokecherries were an important part of the diet. They were dried, cooked, or mixed with other ingredients to make them palatable. Today they are occasionally made into juice, jelly, or pies… with the addition of lots of sugar!
Chokecherry makes a splash when it blooms in mid-spring. The fragrant white flowers are arranged in jalapeno-shaped clusters and are quite profuse. They attract scores of honey bees and many native pollinators as well, like bumblebees, sweat bees, miner bees, and syrphid flies.
How to Grow
Chokecherry is not difficult to grow, and with a little bit of care, it will grow very quickly indeed. Give it as much sun as you can; it will also tolerate light shade. Good drainage is crucial with Cherry Trees—be careful not to plant them too deep and never site them in a spot that stays constantly wet. Your Chokecherry will need regular water during the first year or two of establishment, but it will be fairly drought tolerant after that. Cherry bark is thin and smooth in the early years—take care not to damage it with lawn equipment.
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