Why is it a problem?
- Anchorage has banned the sale of these trees because it aggressively invades moose and salmon habitat
- Planted as an ornamental but escapes cultivation via lateral roots that sprout new trees 20 feet from the original tree, and cherries are spread long distances by birds
- Alters plant and insect composition along streams, threatening salmon habitat
- Poisonous to moose when eaten, sometimes resulting in death
How do I manage this plant?
- Remove trees to reduce cherries spread by birds
- Cut branches left on the ground can resprout—use for firewood, smoking meat, or take to the landfill; use wood chips as mulch if no cherries
- Cutting stems causes trees to resprout thickly, requiring many years of follow-up cutting or the use of herbicides
- Small stems and seedlings can be hand-pulled
- A small amount of herbicide applied to a freshly cut stump will kill roots
- Monitor for several years and remove new sprouts
- Cooperative Extension Service “Control of Invasive Chokecherry Trees” handout