Mayday Tree (Prunus padus commutata)

mayday-tree (214307 bytes) Mayday Tree (Prunus padus commutata) The Mayday Tree is of medium height (30'), low-branched and has a compact, rounded canopy that may reach 20'. It is one of the first trees to leaf out and bloom in spring. Related to the chokecherry, it is taller and is usually pruned down to a single trunk. Mayday Tree is hardy to zone 3, has low to moderate water needs and is drought resistant.  It tolerates most soils, including our alkaline soil, as long as they are well-drained. This tree can be grown in full sun or partial shade.

Drawbacks include susceptibility to black knot. This is a fungal disease that can be controlled by pruning. The trees branches are stiff and can be broken by heavy snow. Unless the roots are disturbed, it does not tend to sucker. 

mayday1a.jpg (5136 bytes) mayday1b.jpg (5756 bytes)     Foliage is bright green, emerging in April. Leaves are alternate, ovate to elliptic, and 2 to 5 inches long with serated margins.  Fall color ranges from yellow, to copper, to bronze red.

mayday tree1bb.jpg (20456 bytes) mayday tree1c.jpg (13731 bytes) Pendulous clusters of fragrant pure-white flowers appear in May after leaf break. They are very attractive to butterflies and bees.
chokecherry,common,prunus virginiana,fruit.jpg (34824 bytes) Fruit is nearly black and cherry-like, inedible to humans but birds love it. It can leave stains on concrete.
mayday1c.jpg (4078 bytes) Bark is a gunmetal gray.

Photos: Judy Sedbrook


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Date last revised: 01/05/2010