Bird Cherry

Prunus padus

Prunus padus is commonly called the Bird Cherry (although that is sometimes used for other species in this genus), and is also known as the Mayday Tree, hagberry or hackberry too. It is a small deciduous tree usually reaching no more than 20 meters in height. It is native to northern Europe and northern Asia including Japan.

The flowers are hermaphroditic and pollinated by bees and flies attracted to the nectar by the almond-scented blossom. The fruit are small, red-black and quite astringent, but this doesn’t bother birds that do not find bitterness unpleasant.

Funky Facts File: Bird-cherry Ermine moth Yponomeuta evonymella uses bird-cherry as its host plant, and the larvae can eat single trees completely leafless! However, the leaves, stems and even the fruit are poisonous to some mammals including. cattle. In Finland & Sweden the blooming of the bird cherry signifies the start of summer (usually the end of May or beginning of June).

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