Bird Cherry (Prunus padus)

The Bird Cherry (Prunus padus) is a species of cherry,native to northern Europe and northern Asia, growing even north of the Arctic Circle in Norway

  • Bird Cherry Tree  -  Prunus Padus  -  Blossom And Leaves
  • Bird Cherry Tree  -  Prunus Padus  -  A Mature Tree
  • Bird Cherry Tree  -  Prunus Padus  -  Winter Stems And Buds

Useful info about Bird Cherry trees

Latin NamePrunus padus
TypeDeciduous (loses its leaves in winter)
HeightCan grow up to 12 metres (40 feet)
SpreadThe branches can spread out to 4 - 8 metres (12 - 26 feet)
Soil Types PreferredChalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Locations SuitableBalconies, Gardens, Patios
FruitBlack fruit in summer

Similar Species


It is the type species of the subgenus Padus with flowers, which are hermaphroditic and pollinated by bees and flies. It is a deciduous small tree or large shrub 8-16 m tall.

The English name refers to the berries, which are astringent and bitter-sweet, seldom used in Western Europe (but commonly eaten in Russia and elsewhere). The berries are readily eaten by birds, which do not taste astringency as unpleasant. It was used medicinally during the Middle Ages, and the bark, placed at the door, was supposed to ward off the plague.

Another name for the Bird Cherry is the Hagberry, and the fruit can be known as hags.


The fruit usually has a bitter taste and is used mainly for making jam and preserves. A tea is made from the bark. It was used in the treatment of colds, fever, etc. However, the seed and leaves contains the poison hydrogen cyanide.


Any uses for trees or tree extracts, whether edible or medicinal, have not been tried or tested by EFORESTS.

Please take caution and seek proper advice before attempting any recipes or medicinal extracts from any of the trees listed on our site.

Culture and Symbolism

In Japan the Cherry tree, known as the 'Sakura' tree represents good fortune, new beginnings and revival.

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