Schubert Cherry: (Prunus virginiana ‘Schubert’)
An excellent tree for the average residential Calgary site providing both a spring bloom and a contrasting foliage.
Size and Characteristics: Schubert Cherries mature at approx. 4-5 m (13-16') wide and approx. 6 m (20’) tall. They have an attractive grey bark but little other winter interest. The spring bloom is white racemes with some fragrance in the May timeframe. The leaves all begin green and gradually turn a deep burgundy/purple as the year progresses. By late summer the pea sized cherries mature dark purple & shiny but if you want them for preserves you’ll have to be fast as the birds (robins, wax wings etc.) will try to get to them first. Very sour/bitter raw they do make outstanding jellies / syrups etc. Suckering from the base can occur but regular pruning of these suckers will keep them manageably in check.
Pests and Diseases: All cherries are susceptible to a number of ailments but one of note is a fungal disease called black knot. This is treatable and usually not fatal to the tree unless it develops in the main trunk of a young tree. In the home landscape it can be managed with pruning. Young trees should also be protected from sunscald if the winter sun can reflect off the snow (location dependent).
© Clayton Ditzler