The Q&A Archives: Wild Black Cherry Trees for Backyard Habitat

Question: Is there any available source for wild black cherry trees (seeds or seedlings)? I want to put some in a garden to attract birds and butterflies.

Answer: That's a great idea -- fruiting and flowering trees are a real boon to our flying friends (oh, that's a lot of alliteration!). If you can't find black cherry (Prunus serotina) at area nurseries, here are some mail-order sources:

Cascade Forestry Nursery, 22033 Fillmore Road, Cascade, IA 52033, ph# 319-852-3042, fax # 319-852-5004,,

McKay Nursery Co. ($5.00), P.O. Box 185, Waterloo, WI 53594, ph# 920-478-2121, fax# 920-478-3615

Out Back Nursery, Inc., 15280 - 110th Street South, Hastings, MN 55033, ph# 651-438-2771, fax 651-438-3816

Something to keep in mind -- mature black cherry trees can reach 75-80 feet in height, so make sure they'll fit into your landscape plans for the long run. If not, there are plenty of other native cherries that are smaller, even shrub-sized, such as Purnus besseyi (Western Sand Cherry) and P. pumila (Sand Cherry).

Are you aware that there's a program sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation that supports gardeners and landscapers who garden for wildlife? You can find out more about their program and materials via their Web site: Enjoy! Barbara

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