Pin Cherry


Native Alberta tree. Fine-textured, bright red branches; reddish to yellow-orange, mature bark; flat-topped clusters of white flowers; and bright red fruit are some of the plant’s attributes. Small tree or shrub with horizontal branches; narrow, rounded, open crown; shiny red twigs; bitter, aromatic bark and foliage; and tiny red edible cherries. Fall foliage is colorful. Pin cherry colonizes rapidly following a clearcut, fire, or abandonment of mining. Nearly pure stands of this tree explode with small white blossoms in early spring, carpeting whole hillsides in white. This early-successional and very hardy species is most valuable for stemming nutrient and water loss from newly cleared sites. Its abundant fruits are consumed by dozens of bird species. This species is often called “Fire Cherry” because its seedlings come up after forest fires. The plants grow rapidly and can be used for fuel and pulpwood. It is also a “nurse” tree, providing cover and shade for the establishment of seedlings of the next generation of larger hardwoods. The cherries are made into jelly and are also consumed by wildlife. Also known as Pincherry, fire cherry, wild red cherry, bird cherry, pigeon cherry.

Clusters of white blossoms appear before foliage in spring, followed by small, red edible cherries in summer. Shiny red-brown bark accents shiny foliage which turns orange in fall. Small, upright, oval native shrub. Prefers well-drained soil. Self-fertile.