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Black Chokeberry

Will Ship Spring 2024

Plant Type: Dormant, bare-root

Zones:  3-8

Soil Type:  Loamy & Sandy Soils

Site Selection: Full Sun, Partial Sun

Mature Height & Width:  5-10' Height and 5-10' Spread

Growth Rate:  Moderate - 12-24" per year once established

Moisture Requirements: Dry to wet soils

Plant Characteristics
HUNTING PLOT
POLLINATORS
EDIBLES
GAME BIRDS
FALL COLORS
3-8

Black Chokeberry

Aronia melanocarpa

The Black Chokeberry is a small to medium sized deciduous shrub that is quite cold hardy. This highly adaptable shrub is at home in most soil types, and in dry to wet soils. Each spring, the Black Chokeberry produces clusters of small, white, five-petaled flowers which the local bee population is sure to enjoy. Berries form and ripen into a black color by late summer, and persist into winter. In autumn, the leaves of this shrub turn beautiful shades of red, orange and purple.

The berries of the Black Chokeberry are not pleasant tasting to humans when eaten raw, hence the name. However, when cooked, they do have culinary value. Its fruits are used in juice, alcoholic beverages and energy drinks. The berries can be canned whole or the juice extracted for jelly making. The antioxidant properties of its berries are extremely high, and some experts even call this fruit one of the healthiest on the planet .

More information on the Black Chokeberry:

  • The Black Chokeberry is a member of the rose family
  • This shrub will grow best in full sun, but is tolerant of partial shade
  • On mature shrubs, up to 30 lbs. of berries per year have been reported
  • The Black Chokeberry is generally free of pests and diseases

Fun Fact: The seeds contained in its berries are very small. In fact, it takes 276,000 seeds to tip the scales at just one pound.

Common uses for the Black Chokeberry include:

  • Edible berries are rich in nutrients and antioxidants
  • Attracts many types of birds and wildlife
  • Pleasant orange, red and even purple fall colors
  • Makes a great hedge or privacy screen
  • Ornamental and specimen plant
  • Good low level section of a windbreak

The Black Chokeberry is browsed by white-tailed deer and rabbits. Many songbirds enjoy the berries produced by this shrub. Game birds such as ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chickens will also eat its fruit. The flowers of the Black Chokeberry are valuable to small bees.

Product Questions

In your catalog, you state that the black chokeberry is a small to medium shrub; while in the above details tab, you state it will have a height of 5 to 10 feet. Is the 5 to 10 feet height correct?
What determines if it grows to the 5' or 10' height?
Fertilization get the shrubs to 10'?
Question by: EDGAR WRIGHT on Oct 31, 2020, 3:31 PM
Hello, our smallest size category in our new website defaults to 5-10' which is why you see it listed on the website that way. I'm sorry for any confusion on that. Actually, the height is 3-8'. The best growth and fruit production occurs on low moist but well-drained sites, in full sun. It is not drought-tolerant.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Nov 3, 2020, 10:35 AM
Do you know if the seeds used to grow these are from wild plants or a named variety/cultivar?
Question by: Charles Little on Dec 31, 2020, 6:47 PM
It is the plain species, no cultivar, of the Black Chokeberry
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Jan 4, 2021, 12:09 PM
Does this shrub self pollinate or does it require additional shrubs nearby?
Question by: Robert Summitt on May 23, 2021, 1:20 PM
The Black Chokeberry is a self-pollinating shrub.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on May 27, 2021, 2:21 PM
I am considering planting an edible wind break to replace the wind break that is surrounding our homestead.(a lot of the bushes have died out) Would black chokecherry be a good fit? The soil seems correct. How far apart do the starts need to be planted apart? The tree row would be about 300 feet long.
Question by: Steven on Feb 28, 2022, 12:35 PM
Yes, the Black Chokeberry (not a Choke Cherry), is suitable for planting as the lower level of a windbreak. It's a very adaptable shrub. You could plant the seedlings anywhere between 3-5 feet apart.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Feb 28, 2022, 2:32 PM
Do you know about the root system and how deep it might go? I would like to put this near a septic tank lid but obviously don't want to cause problems in a few years
Question by: Michael Neel on Apr 24, 2023, 9:16 AM
We recommend talking to your septic company for their recommended guidelines. Thank you.
Answer by: Chief River Nursery on Apr 24, 2023, 9:42 AM