Southwestern Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) is an essential addition to bird-friendly gardens. This attractive small-to-medium-sized native tree blooms in late spring with delicate, fragrant white flower clusters that attract butterflies and bees. Following small black cherries are eagerly eaten by songbirds. With a handsome trunk and branches, attractive foliage, and ornamental flowers and fruit, is an excellent choice for gardens small and large.
(15-20' tall x 12-15' wide) Southwestern Black Cherry (Prunus serotina v. virens) is highly recommended for both its ornamental features as well as its value to songbirds. Blooming in late spring, multitudes of hanging white flower clusters cover the tree and are followed by a late summer crop of bitter black cherries eagerly eaten by songbirds. In addition to the fruit, it is a host plant to many moths and caterpillars, in turn providing caterpillars which are collected by nesting songbirds and fed to newly hatched chicks. Woody plants in the genus Prunus, along with oaks and willows, are considered some of the most valuable sources of caterpillars needed for nesting birds to feed their young. Support shrinking songbird populations by planting a native cherry tree! Southwestern Black Cherry’s native territory includes west Texas west to Arizona, and south in mountains to the Mexican states of Jalisco and Guanajuato. Cherries can be eaten or used in cooking and baking. All other parts of Prunus species, except the fruits, contain poisonous substances and should never be eaten.
Growing Shrubs and Small Trees: The shrubs and trees we sell are 1-2 year-old seedlings. These young plants appreciate some extra attention during their first 3 years in your landscape.
Preferred growing conditions:
Check each species soil preferences before planting. Some do well in clay while others do not.
Mulch with common mulching materials. As they get larger (2 ft. or more in height), thicken the mulch layer to a depth of 2-3 inches.
Even xeric (waterwise) species will establish better and grow more quickly when given regular irrigation during the first 3 years in the garden. As they begin to reach maturity, watering frequency can be reduced to a good deep soaking every 10 to 14 days during the heat of summer.
Plant in full sun or part sun depending on plant preference.
Dig a wide but shallow hole and enrich the soil with ample amounts of compost and Yum Yum. This will help them to grow and mature more quickly.
Most native shrubs and trees are highly recommended for providing wildlife habitat (nesting spots, fruit or seeds for songbirds and mammals, nectar for pollinators).
They are excellent for use to grow as natural (un-sheared!) hedges along fences, property lines and driveways. They live for many years once established.
Fertilize in the fall with Yum Yum Mix and good quality compost. This is most important during the first 3 years in the landscape. Established plants don't need to be fertilized (unless growth is stunted by extremely poor soils).
Where browsing animals (rabbits, deer and others) are a problem, it is advisable to protect young plants with a wire cage. These can be removed after 3-4 years in the ground.
Mulching is essential to maintain the soil moisture these woody plants need to establish their deep growing roots. Be sure and replenish the mulch in fall and summer to keep it sufficiently deep.
View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.
No longer available this season.
As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Some perennials are shipped as potted plants, some as perennial roots packed in peat. The ‘Plant Information’ section describes how that item will ship. All perennials and spring-planted bulbs are packaged to withstand shipping and are fully-guaranteed. Please open upon receipt and follow the instructions included.
Perennials and spring-planted bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial and spring-planted bulb orders will arrive separately from seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment and all items are shipping to the same address, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (800) 925-9387 or contact us by email.
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