Choke Cherry
Prunus virginiana

Location in Ontario

Choke Cherry grows throughout the Deciduous Forest Region and northward. It is found along forest edges or cleared areas as it is intolerant of shade.

Genus Prunus
Cherry trees have alternate simple leaves with toothed edges. They are monoecious with perfect flowers (male and female parts in the same flower). The flowers are white and beautiful. The fruit is a drupe with a single seed, often called a "stone". In Ontario, this genus includes Black Cherry, Pin Cherry and Choke Cherry.

In the Landscape
Choke Cherry is a small, shrub-like tree that can also reach 10 metres in height. It is short lived to about 40 years. Choke Cherry is a nice, small-sized landscape tree with pretty white flowers, and dark red cherries.

Choke Cherry in flower, Norfolk County

The leaves are alternate and simple with toothed edges and a sharp point. Leaves turn yellow in the fall.
The bark is reddish-brown with lenticels, becoming gray and scaly with age.
Choke Cherry is monoecious with perfect flowers (both male and female parts in the same flower). Flowers appear in May in dense clusters with a cylindrical shape. They appear after the leaves, and are insect pollinated (mostly flies).
The seeds are found in sour-tasting red to black drupes. The fruit is an important food source for many birds and small mammals. Seeds are produced after a few years of growth, with good crops yearly.

TREE FACT: Choke Cherry fruit can be used to make jelly, syrup, juice and pie.

Choke Cherry wood is not used commercially.
Specific Gravity: Unavailable
Janka Harndess: Unavailable
Wood Comparison Chart

Chokecherry with lots of fruit

Choke Cherry is not included in the United States Forest Service Silvics Manual.