Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Amur Chokecherry

{Picture of Amur Chokecherry}

Plant Information

  • Plant Type: Tree: Small
  • Scientific Name: Prunus maackii Play audio of plant name
  • Family: Cherry / Plum
  • Zone: 3
  • Plant Size: 20-30'
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Bloom Color: White
  • Habit: Rounded
  • Culture:

    Adaptable. Tolerates dry soils. Full sun.

  • Notes:

    Attractive amber exfoliating bark. White flowers in May produce small fruit that ripen from dark red to black in June and are quickly taken by birds. The flower, fruit and fall color are all of minor interest, but it does make an outstanding container plant. Best grown as a multi-stemmed tree to feature the bark that is its only true ornamental feature.

  • Pruning:Pruning animation

    Structural pruning of small trees is somewhat different than with larger trees, as small trees generally do not develop strong central leaders. Thus structural pruning of these trees should focus on addressing branch defects that are prone to damage from snow or other storm-related stresses. In particular, branches with included bark and branches larger than half the diameter of the trunk should be suppressed, or if small, removed. The fundamentals of structural pruning can be found at the following websites:

    Urban Tree Foundation – Structural Pruning

    University of Florida – Structural Pruning

    If a branch needs to be removed for clearance, is damaged, or possesses a critical defect, a 3-point cut is used (see animation). First an undercut is made to prevent bark from tearing down the trunk if it remains attached to the falling limb. The branch is then "stub cut" which removes most of the branch to facilitate a clean final cut. The final cut is made just outside the branch collar, which is the swollen area between the branch and the trunk. Cuts made here will heal most readily and prevent rot from invading the main trunk of the tree, a common occurrence when branches are cut flush with the trunk.

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Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Bill Hoch, Associate Professor
Montana State University

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