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/ chokecherry seeds
January 9, 2006 4:01 AM
I managed to save some choke cherries last fall and dried them out. I hope to plant them this spring along the creek by my place. Is there anything I need to do to help them germinate? Thanks for any replies.....toad <><
Eastern Montana, almost North Dakota.....zone 4
January 9, 2006 4:20 PM
The Chokechrries around here self seed quite well by themselves with no help from me. Every spring I have 1,000's of sprouts and try to cut every one down, but always find one or two that I missed later when they get taller. I doubt you need do anything other than be sure they contact the soil and have sufficient moisture. That hard seed coat also indicates they may need a freeze thaw cycle (to break that seed coat) or you need to use a file or sand paper to do it.
January 9, 2006 8:26 PM
What are choke cherries, how they taste & what do they look like? Do you just grow them for the birds?
January 12, 2006 4:52 PM
The Chokecherry is a memeber of the "Prunus" family, the same family that cherries and plums belong to. The fruit is somewhat small and tart with a hard seed inside that, when ripe, takes up about 1/2 the fruit. It is listed as being a favorite of many species of birds, none of which I have around here apparently since I never see any eating the berries. Around here I would consider these trees as an invasive species because they are sprouting everywhere, some as suckers from the roots of another tree and others from the seeds. Not one of the better landscape trees to grow in my estimation.
January 14, 2006 9:15 AM
I'm agreeing largely with Kimm. I have a love/hate relationship with chokecherries. It might help with germination if the seed passes through a bird.
What I love about them:
-If you use a whole lot of 'cherries and a whole lot of sugar you do get a delicious jelly. One year the jelly didn't jell, but I used it as syrup on buckwheat pancakes. Outstanding!
-The 'cherries sustain many kinds of birds.
-They bloom early & the blossoms attract bees.
-They make a good privacy hedge.
-They make good plant stakes, unless they root. Which leads us to...
What I hate about them:
-I have been digging, pulling, chopping them out of where they shouldn't grow since I was 11 years old.
-One has to pick LOADS of them and work very hard to get any juice from them.
-About once every two years I have to taste a 'cherry to remind myself of the taste of a raw chokecherry. It is very bitter and astringent.
A friend who is a member of the Dakota Sioux makes a traditional sweet from the 'cherries, (never tasted it,) and cuts the canes to use in spiritual ceremonies.
Pardon me for driving the speed limit.
/ chokecherry seeds
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