Sand cherry gets high marks for its good looks, tough constitution, and delicious fruits which are relished by humans and wildlife alike. It produces a medium sized, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub, whose branches are densely laden with finger-length, silvery-green, shiny, serrated leaves which turn bright red in the fall. Its woody stems are covered with reddish-brown bark, which darkens to gray as it ages. In late spring, sand cherry bursts into a cloud of white flowers, followed by a crop of small, tart cherries, which are edible and excellent for use in pies and jams. The plants also provide food and nesting shelter for many kinds of birds, who relish the tasty fruits and seeds.
Native to sandy soils and sunny, exposed sites of northern Colorado and the western plains of North America, sand cherry can stand up to harsh environmental conditions. It is adapted to withstand the buildup of windblown sand, which collects around the base of the plants without risk of crown rot. These hardy plants should be grown in full to part sun and well-drained soil. They grow more quickly with some supplemental water, but are not suitable for poorly-drained, clay soils. Once established little care or additional water is needed.
Beautiful, low-maintenance, wildlife-friendly, waterwise choices for sustainable landscapes and gardens. (info source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Prunus
Species - Besseyi
Common name - Sand Cherry
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 7
Height - 4'-5' / 1.2m - 1.5m
Spread - 5'-6' / 1.5m - 1.8m
Plant type - Medium Shrub
Vegetation type - Decidious
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Shade
Growth rate - Medium
Soil type - Laom, Well drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Street Trees, edible fruits
Germination rate - 82%
Bloom season - Spring, Late Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
|1. Soak the seeds in a bowl of cool water overnight. Lay the seeds on a flat surface to dry for several hours.
2. Stratify seeds in a plastic bag full of moist sand inside the refrigerator for 90 days. Keep the sand barely moist during the cold stratification period.
3. Sow the seeds the following spring once outdoor temperatures rise above 65F (+18C) during the day and 48F (+8C) at night. Or sow indoors in the propagator or pots
4. Prepare a pot for each seed. Fill 8-inch plastic pots with garden soil taken from the bed where the trees will eventually be planted. Sow one seed in each pot at a depth of 1 inch.
5. Water the seeds to a depth of 3 inches after planting them. Maintain moisture at a 3-inch depth during the germination process.
6. Place the pots outdoors in a sheltered spot where they will be exposed to direct sun in the morning and afternoon. Protect the seeds from direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day since the soil will warm too quickly and dry out.
7. Watch for sprouting one month after sowing. Maintain the same light and moisture conditions provided to the seeds during germination until they grow to 4 inches in height.
8. Plant the seedlings into a sunny, sandy bed at least 75 days before the first frost in autumn, or shelter the seedlings in a cold frame until the following spring if it is too late in the year for planting. (info source: eHow.com)