Exceptionally cold hardy and boasting extremely fragrant spring flowers and pretty fall foliage, European birdcherry is a terrific deciduous tree. Hailing from Eurasia, from northern Europe fully eastward to Japan and Korea, it is a large shrub or becomes a good-sized tree if allowed to reach full maturity. It eventually attains a broad and rounded shape with ascending branches.
Very early to send out its new leaves in the spring, often the young foliage is tinted in interesting shades of bronze-green. Once mature, the leaves are a dull green and have an oval but pointed shape. In mid-spring, young red branch tips are filled with drooping spikes of fragrant white flowers that nearly mask all of the leaves. Once pollinated, small purple-black fruits develop and ripen by late summer, very bitter to the human tongue, but loved by songbirds. Fall foliar displays include a wide potential range of yellow, orange and bronze, even some red.
Widely adaptable to many soil types, European birdcherry fits in perfectly in average, well-drained landscape soils in full sun. The bitter fruits are edible and best used in mixed jellies or for winemaking. Branches may tend to break in heavy snows or ice in winter, but overall this tree makes for a grand shade or street tree. The fruit drop can be messy, so consider placement of this tree away from parking areas, park benches or playground areas. (source: learn2grow.com)
Genus - Prunus
Species - Padus
Common name - Bird Cherry
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 7
Height - 20'-50' / 6 - 15 m
Spread - 20'-30' / 6 - 9 m
Plant type - Medium tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Shade
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Well drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Screening / Wind Break
Germination rate - 79%
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
|Germination||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)