Mayday Tree (Prunus padus
|Mayday Tree (Prunus
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.
|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.
|Pendulous clusters of fragrant pure-white flowers appear in May after leaf break. They are very attractive to butterflies and bees.|
|Fruit is nearly black and cherry-like, inedible to humans but
birds love it. It can leave stains on concrete.
|Bark is a gunmetal gray.
Photos: Judy Sedbrook
© CSU/Denver County Extension Master Gardener 2010
888 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver, CO 80210
Date last revised: 01/05/2010