Bird cherry trees, Prunus padus, are fast growing, native, deciduous trees. In early summer, they have strands of small, almond scented, white flowers. These ripen into dark fruit which are popular with birds. As with most cherries, the foliage colours beautifully in autumn. They are suitable for medium sized gardens and places with poor soil (except shallow chalk), although they need full sun to flower really well. Bird Cherry trees can reach a height of about 10 metres. You can also buy several varieties of cultivated, ornamental flowering cherry tree here, including the Purple leaf Bird Cherry 'Colorata'.
History & uses of Prunus padus: Known as hackberries, the fruit are edible, but they taste bitter and you wouldn't want to eat them unless you cooked them up with plenty of sugar. The stone in the centre of the fruit is poisonous and should be removed before cooking. The young spring leaves can be steamed or boiled and then eaten.
How Standard Trees are Measured: All our standards are graded by their girth in centimetres - taken 1 metre above ground level. So, a 6/8 standard has a trunk with a circumference of 6-8 centimetres and an 8/10 standard has a trunk 8-10 centimetres. In any variety an 8/10 is taller than a 6/8 but the heights between different varieties can vary hugely. So standard trees are roughly 2.5 - 4.5 metres tall.