Brilliant Red Chokeberry

Product Code: abril

Aronia `Brilliantissima' (Red Chokeberry)
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Details

The Brilliant Red Chokeberry is a beautiful shrub with dark green foliage. The white flowers in May are followed by glossy, bright-red berries that are retained for a long time. The berries will be sure to attract plenty of birds to your landscape, which is an added bonus! The fall color is outstanding, varying from rich crimson to reddish-purple. Mature growth is around 6-8' tall and wide.

Planting & Care for Deciduous Shrub – Aronia-Chokeberry

Preparation

  • The Brilliant Red Chokeberry is a beautiful shrub with dark green foliage.
  • The white flowers in May are followed by glossy, bright-red berries that are retained for a long time.
  • Mature growth is around 6-8' tall and wide.
  • The leaves are slightly smaller than the Aronia melanocarpa, and slightly finer textured.
  • This shrub can be grouped or planted in along shrub borders, small gardens or open woodland areas.
  • Because this plant has the ability to withstand wet conditions it’s the perfect plant for growing on the margins of ponds or streams. Excellent addition to naturalized areas where its suckering, colonial growth habit does not need to be restrained.
  • Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade.
  • This plant does have a wide range of soil tolerance including boggy soils.
  • You’ll get the best fruit production when you plant in full sun.
  • Be sure to remove root suckers to prevent colonial spread.

Opening Plant Material

  • Bare Root - Cut open the bundle (top and roots are tied) and separate all the plants. Soak roots in buckets of water until planted. Each plant type will be labeled separately for identification. Do not expose the roots to sun. They should never dry out. Keep roots covered. All bare-root plants must be trimmed when planted. 
  • Containers - Completely saturate all container plants by putting in a larger container of water until stops bubbling, remove. Now ready to plant. Dig a hole no deeper than the depth of the container and 6" or more, making sure it’s wider on the sides.

Planting Bare Root

  • Plant Bare root in fall. A good indicator if you can still plant is if the ground is still workable you’re good to go. If a hard frost is expected be sure to hold off on planting.
  • Dig a hole at least 6" wider and the same depth as the root mass. The crown or graft of the plant should be slightly higher than ground level where it was grown at the nursery.
  • Trim off the broken roots and branches.
  • Place fertilizer packets in hole (if purchased). Do not place other fertilizers in the planting hole. *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer.
  • Spread the roots and fill halfway with soil, then water until soil settles completely saturating the soil and planting pit.
  • Re-adjust plant and fill the hole with the rest of the soil.
  • Back fill the balance of the soil and water well. 
  • See our link below “Handling & Planting Guidelines” for illustrations on planting.   

Planting containers

  • Slide plant from pot by tapping on the bottom of the pot.
  • With shovel or knife trim bottom 2" off of the root ball for plants in plastic containers.
  • Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move plants by the tops.
  • Place the root ball in the hole.
  • Notice where the base of the trunk flairs out from the tree. This is called the root flair. This root flair should show when the tree is planted. If necessary, add soil under the ball so the root flair is exposed.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer.
  • Backfill the hole with soil, making sure the top of the root ball is visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Firm the soil around the plant. Water well to settle soil around the root ball.

Pruning - After Planting

  • Bare Root - Prune ALL bare root plants to reduce transplant shock and ensure success. Pruning should occur either before or as soon after planting as possible. All pruning should be done with a sharp pruning shears.
  • Containers - Although it is not essential for containers to be pruned after planting, a light pruning for shape, to remove any broken branches from shipping, or to thin out a heavily branched plant will help in the transplanting process and in the appearance of your new planting.

Pruning - Through-out the Season

  • Once a month in March-September - Cut off the black chokeberry's suckers (the shoots that sprout from roots) as close to the ground as possible. Pruning theses helps control the shrub's spread. 
  • After flowering - Prune black chokeberry stems and branches to encourage bushiness, cutting the shrub to 20 inches above the ground after it flowers. Prune each stem or branch just above a leaf node (looks like a small lump or bud) to avoid die-back in the plant.
  • In order to get the most out of your chokeberry plant, be sure to prune when it’s around 8 to 10 years old to improve fruit production. Cut its branches and stems to 40 inches above the ground after the plant flowers. Repeat this procedure every four or five years or so.

Watering - After Planting

  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water plants as often as every 2-4 days at the start and at least a minimum of once per week.
  • Beyond the 6 week establishment period, water once per week, unless rains occur.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

Watering - Through-out the Season

  • After the first season, plants should only be watered during extended periods without rain.
  • How do you know if your plants need water? The easiest way to tell is to touch the soil around the roots. If it is moist, there is no need to water. If it is dry, give it a good soaking with the hose end (no nozzle) watering the soil only, not the leaves.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

 

Go to our "Plant Features & Video Tab" for more information & tips on caring and maintaining this plant.

Handling & Planting Guidelines

Special Features & Videos for Aronia-Chokeberry

Special Plant Features & Tips

  • The Brilliant Red Chokeberry is a beautiful shrub with dark green foliage.
  • The white flowers in May are followed by glossy, bright-red berries that are retained for a long time.
  • The berries will be sure to attract plenty of birds to your landscape, which is an added bonus!
  • The fall color is outstanding, varying from rich crimson to reddish-purple.
  • Mature growth is around 6-8' tall and wide.
  • This plant gets its name “Chokeberry” because it’s in reference to the tart and bitter taste of the fruits which are technically edible but so astringent as to cause choking in most of those who try.
  • Fruits are sometimes used to make tasty jams and jellies.
  • This shrub can be grouped or planted in along shrub borders, small gardens or open woodland areas.
  • Because this plant has the ability to withstand wet conditions it’s the perfect plant for growing on the margins of ponds or streams. Excellent addition to naturalized areas where its suckering, colonial growth habit does not need to be restrained.
  • Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade.
  • This plant does have a wide range of soil tolerance including boggy soils.
  • You’ll get the best fruit production when you plant in full sun.
  • Be sure to remove root suckers to prevent colonial spread.
  • Once a month in March-September - Cut off the black chokeberry's suckers (the shoots that sprout from roots) as close to the ground as possible. Pruning theses helps control the shrub's spread. 
  • After flowering - Prune black chokeberry stems and branches to encourage bushiness, cutting the shrub to 20 inches above the ground after it flowers. Prune each stem or branch just above a leaf node (looks like a small lump or bud) to avoid die-back in the plant.
  • In order to get the most out of your chokeberry plant, be sure to prune when it’s around 8 to 10 years old to improve fruit production. Cut its branches and stems to 40 inches above the ground after the plant flowers. Repeat this procedure every four or five years or so.

How to plant containers

 

Watch our Video on how to plant & care for a bare root plant

 

How do we dig our bare root plants?

Popular Sizes
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
#1 Container  10 8" 10" FedEx
#3 Container/Grow Bag 25 10" 15" FedEx
2' - 5' Bare Root 5 - 35 5 - 15" 2 - 5' FedEx
Containers/Grow Bags
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
#1 Container  10 8" 10" FedEx
#2 Container 15 12" 12" FedEx
#3 Container/Grow Bag 25 10" 15" FedEx
#5 Container/Grow Bag 40 14" 10" McKay Delivery*
#7 Container/Grow Bag 35 - 50 14 - 16" 1 - 2' McKay Delivery*
#10 Container/Grow Bag 55 - 70 18" 1 - 3' McKay Delivery*
#15 Container/Grow Bag 65 - 80 22" 2 - 3' McKay Delivery*
#20 Container/Grow Bag 100 - 160 24" 7 McKay Delivery*
#25 Container/Grow Bag 130 - 200 24 - 30" 8' McKay Delivery*
Bare Root
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
#1 Bare Root 5 5 - 8" (no soil on roots) 5 - 10" FedEx
12" Bare Root 5 - 10 5" (no soil on roots) 10 - 12" FedEx
15" Bare Root 8 - 10 10 - 12" (no soil on roots) 12 - 15" FedEx
18" Bare Root 10 - 15 10 - 15" (no soil on roots) 15 - 18" FedEx
2' Bare Root 15 12" (no soil on roots) 2' FedEx
3' Bare Root 20 15" (no soil on roots) 3' FedEx
4' Bare Root 25 18" (no soil on roots) 4' FedEx
5' Bare Root 30 20" (no soil on roots) 5' FedEx
6' Bare Root 35 22" (no soil on roots) 6' McKay Delivery*
8' Bare Root 40 22 - 24" (no soil on roots) 8' McKay Delivery*
9' Bare Root 45 24 - 30" (no soil on roots) 9' McKay Delivery*
1 3/4" caliper Bare Root 50 30" (no soil on roots) 5 - 6' McKay Delivery*
1 1/4" caliper Bare Root 55 32" (no soil on roots) 8 - 11' McKay Delivery*
1 1/2" caliper Bare Root 60 32" (no soil on roots) 10 - 12' McKay Delivery*
2 1/2" caliper Bare Root 65 32 - 35" (no soil on roots) 10 - 16' McKay Delivery*
Balled & Burlap (B&B)
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
2' tall B&B 50 12 - 16" 2'  McKay Delivery*
3' tall B&B 60 - 250 22 - 24" 4' McKay Delivery*
4' tall B&B 250 22 - 24"  5' McKay Delivery*
5' tall B&B 325 16 - 24" 5' McKay Delivery*
6' tall B&B 150 - 325 24 - 30"  6' McKay Delivery*
7' tall B&B 500 - 700 30"  7' McKay Delivery*
8' tall B&B 600 - 700 30 - 32" 8' McKay Delivery*
9' tall B&B 700 30 - 35" 9' McKay Delivery*
1 1/4" caliper B&B 250 - 700 22" - 28" 8 - 11' McKay Delivery*
1 1/2" caliper B&B 350 - 600 24" - 30"  10 - 12' McKay Delivery*
2" caliper B&B 600 - 700 28" - 32"  10 - 14' McKay Delivery*
2 1/2" caliper B&B 700 - 1,000 30" - 36" 10 - 16' McKay Delivery*
3" caliper B&B 850 - 1,200 34" - 38" 12 - 18' McKay Delivery*
3 1/2" caliper B&B 1,000 - 1,200 36"  3' McKay Delivery*

*McKay Delivery - This shipping method can only be used when your delivery address is within 60 miles of Waterloo, Wisconsin. McKay will hand delivery your nursery stock. We can delivey any size, but typically this shipping method is used for oversize items that FedEx cannot ship.

Growing Zones: 5-8

Bloom Time: May
Color: Green, Purple, Red, White
Plant Size: 6-8' tall x 6-8' wide
Flower Color: White
Fall Color: rich crimson to reddish-purple
Fruit: Bright red
Sunlight: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Soil Conditions: Normal, Sandy, Clay, Acidic, Wet, Dry
Low Maintenance: Yes
Deer Resistant: No
Attracts Butterflies: Yes
Attracts Bees: Yes
Attracts Birds: Yes
Edible: Yes
Native: Yes

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