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Canada Red Chokecherry is a small to medium-sized tree with deep purple leaves that will bring a splash of color to your landscape. Don’t worry that you’ve received the wrong tree when the leaves come out green! They’ll soon turn a rich burgundy-purple. In spring, this fast-growing tree is smothered in delightfully fragrant white flowers in clusters shaped like chili peppers. In late summer, the blooms are replaced with tiny black “cherries” loved by songbirds—including Eastern bluebirds. Canada Red Chokecherry is virtually identical to the tree sold as ‘Schubert’Chokecherry, and either tree will make the birds flock to your yard.
- Hardiness Zone: 2-7
- Spacing: 20-25'
- Exposure: Full Sun
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In 2006 the 6th graders at Rickard Elementary School in North Dakota decided that they needed a state fruit and thought Chokecherry to be a perfect candidate. The students were told that they had to provide some sort of evidence that the Chokecherry had a place in the history of North Dakota. This was easy because Lewis and Clark had written in their journals about the Chokecherry as they crossed North Dakota in the 1700’s with Sacajawea. Historically, its roots, twigs, bark and berries have provided many American Indians and European settlers with valuable food and medicine. One year later on March 29, 2007, the long journey came to an end and the governor of North Dakota signed into law making the Chokecherry fruit the first states’ fruit.
What's in a name, anyway? You'll forget all about the name when you see the striking contrast of the bright green new leaves against the deep purple of the mature leaves in the summer. Tall clusters of white blossoms are followed by black fruit in the fall. What a spectacular appearance! See, you forgot about the name already!
How to Grow
Canada Red Chokecherry is just plain easy to grow and super hardy as well. I have seen these trees flourish in all kinds of adverse soil conditions. Under extreme stress during drought and cold, Canada Red Chokecherry keeps growing. They enjoy being planted in full sun; however, temperatures south of Pennsylvania might be a little too warm for them. After planting this beauty in your garden, apply a simple tree fertilizer in the fall for the first 3 or 4 years or so. Apply at an aggressive rate as dictated by the fertilizer label. Your Canada Red Chokecherry will respond very well to fall fertilizing. Root growth is at its most active level while soil temperatures remain warm enough to allow your tree to absorb and store the necessary nutrients for fantastic spring flowering and growth. Here on the nursery, we prune Canada Red’s often to promote new growth. Canada Red’s tend to grow suckers that sprout from the base of the tree. Please remove these on a consistent basis, most likely 2 or 3 times a year or as needed when they appear.
This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.
Size B Trees:
8-10' tall. Grown and shipped in our #15 tree container with stem caliper 1 1/2". Fully formed canopy and structure. Limbed high for street tree benefit.
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