Hedge plants

Planting bird cherry - tips on location, soil & planting


Bird cherry is a popular hedge plant that also serves as a screen. How splendid it develops depends on the planting.

© Igor Tarasov - Fotolia.com

Bird cherry (Prunus padus) is one of the rose family. The plant got its name from the grape-shaped arrangement of flowers and fruits. The attractive hedge plant is also known as swamp cherry or Ahl cherry. The hobby gardener will be able to enjoy the rich bloom of the "wild lilac" in spring. Due to its dense growth, the bird cherry does very well as a hedge plant and privacy screen. The cherry tree is also well suited for securing bank embankments. You lay the foundation for healthy growth and prosperity of the Elsenkirsche with the planting, which is why it is so important to pay attention to certain points here.

Plant Description

Bird cherry is characterized by rapid growth. The deciduous tree can reach heights of up to 15 meters. Shrub-shaped growth is also possible. The shrubs are also up to ten meters high and are characterized by overhanging branches. Bird cherry's natural habit is slim to conical. In older plants, the crown takes on a more arched shape. The trunk appears almost straight and has a diameter of about 60 centimeters.

The age of the crop is between 60 and 80 years. Bird cherries have a smooth and dark gray rind. Cracks in the bark only occur with old plants. The leaves are about ten centimeters long and are slightly hairy. The dark green leaves show an attractive yellow-red autumn color. The white flowers appear between April and June. The round stone fruits develop from the flowers. These are initially reddish in color and appear black and shiny when ripe. The berries serve the birds as a source of food in late summer.

" Tip: The flesh is non-toxic. The core contains toxic hydrocyanic acid.

Bird cherry (Prunus padus)
Growth rate:40 - 70 cm a year
Height:600 - 1000 cm
Spread:400 - 700 cm
Root system:Flachwurzler
Location:Sun to partial shade
"Show more pictures and data

The spread of bird cherry

The bird's homeland is in North America. Today the bird cherry trees are also native to Europe, Japan and North Asia. In the Mediterranean region and on the Balkan Peninsula, the plant is missing in Europe. Bird cherries in the wild are mainly found near water bodies and in sparse forests. Most specimens have been found in Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. According to a study by the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food, almost four million specimens of bird cherry trees exist in German forests.

Plant bird cherry - this is how it's done


If we look at the occurrence of the plant in the wild, it becomes clear that bird cherries like a rather moist environment. A sunny to partially shaded location is preferred. The plant will feel particularly comfortable near the garden pond or a natural river. If the bird cherry is to grow as a tree, a lot of space is needed and a solitary position is preferred. If the plant is to grow in shrub form, group plantings also do very well. The location does not have to be chosen too warm. Bird cherry can also stand cool and airy.


  • sunny to partially shaded
  • airy
  • Stand-alone or group planting
  • near the water


The plants need a fresh, slightly damp soil. Heavy clay soils are less recommended. If the soil is impermeable, the irrigation water cannot drain off and waterlogging occurs, which attacks the roots of the bird cherry and, under unfavorable circumstances, can cause the plant to die. The soil should not be too calcareous. A slight amount of lime is tolerated, however.


  • relaxed
  • airy
  • wet
  • humos
  • limepoor

Planting instructions:

❶ Select location
❷ Prepare the floor
❸ Water the plant
❹ Dig out the planting hole
Aufwerten Upgrade excavation
Einsetzen Insert the plant
❼ Press the earth down well
Ang Water the plant well and mulch
❾ Attach the pillar

Once the location has been selected, the first step is to prepare the soil. The soil should be dug up and loosened up. Weeds, roots and stones are removed. Bird cherry is watered in the meantime. Place the plant in a bucket of water and wait until there are no more air bubbles. The planting hole should be excavated at least twice the size of the root ball. So that the young plants receive a good basic supply of nutrients right from the start, compost and horn chips are added to the excavated material.

There is no need for drainage in the ground, as the cherry tree prefers a moist soil. The plant is placed in the center of the planting hole and well covered with soil. Press the soil well and shake the plant gently when filling the substrate to avoid voids. After the planting hole has been closed, the plant is mulched and watered well.

" Tip: So that the irrigation water can be well absorbed, you can create a pouring rim that slopes slightly towards the center.

Young plants are sensitive to the wind. So that storms of the bird cherry can not harm anything, you should support the young plant. Three support posts are used for each plant. These should be brought into the ground at a distance of 30 centimeters and connected with wide cords. This support is essential for the first year of standing. Two-year-old plants should have developed sufficiently and you can remove the pillars.

" Tip: Check the support regularly. The ropes or ribbons must not be too tight and must not dig into the tree bark.

Stop the roots

Bird cherries are among the flat rooters. The roots of the rapidly growing plant are diligently spreading out to all sides. The hobby gardener can counteract this by setting up a root barrier. This should be taken into account when planting. In theory, you can add root lock to older plants. However, the workload is much higher than if you already bring in the air and water impermeable geotextile during planting. The root barrier is inserted vertically into the ground and fixed with click bars. The roots cannot penetrate the material and there will be no chaos of root network in your garden.

1 Rhizome barrier / root barrier thickness 2 mm, width 70 cm,… 2 reviews66,90 €To the shop