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Tuesday - May 12, 2015

From: Chicago, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Managing Roadsides, Trees
Title: Life span of pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Do you have any data on the lifespan of pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica) under urban conditions where is Not subject to seral succession (trees won't be permitted to overtake it)? On the other hand this would be in a parkway context --somewhat limited soil, and in our area some pollution and deicing salt, though less than on a main road. I love the lepidopteran (and avian) value of Prunus, and ornamental bark for winter interest.

ANSWER:

Prunus pensylvanica (Pin cherry) is prized as a nurse plant, providing shade for other more sensitive plants to grow in light shade.  It is considered to survive for only 25-30 years in situations where other species overtake it and give increasing shade.  If this increasing shade were prevented Pin cherry might be longer lived.  But I doubt that it would last much longer.  

It is listed on at least one website as being fairly salt tolerant.  I feel that it could be an attractive species bordering a parkway for a reasonable period of time.

 

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