Black Chokeberry is scattered throughout Ohio, where it is found as thickets in both wet soils and dry sites. The fibrous root system holds soil well, and the suckering habit and self-sowing nature of this shrub allows for the formation of a large colony within a few years. Abundant black fruits in autumn and winter serve as a source of food for desperate wildlife, when no other tasty food is left, as the name "chokeberry" implies about their astringent tasting quality.
Black Chokeberry may reach 8 feet tall by 8 feet wide as an individual specimen of great age, and is strongly multistemmed. In natural settings, its strong tendency to sucker, self-sowing nature, and arching branches give it a colony growth habit of indeterminate width (like Sumacs). As a member of the Rose Family, it is related to the Serviceberries, Hawthorns, Crabapples, Plums, Cherries, Pears, and Roses, as well as other Chokeberry species and hybrids.
Planting Requirements- Black Chokeberry prefers moist, well-drained, acidic soils of average to rich quality. However, this shrub thrives in a wide variety of sites, and may form pure stands in wet sites with clay soil. It also tolerates soils that are alkaline in pH, dry in summer, and sandy or rocky in composition. It is excellent for its soil-gripping capacity, rapid establishment, fall foliage colors, and winter fruit display. It grows in full sun to partial sun, and is found in zones 3 to 8.
Potential Problems - Black Chokeberry has no diseases or pests of significance, even though its membership in the Rose Family qualifies it for many potential problems. Very rarely, wet springs that continue as wet summers cause the young developing fruits to rot, and may also lead to diseases of the leaves, branches, and roots.