Viking Chokeberry

Product Code: aviki

Aronia 'Viking' (Black Chokeberry)
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Details

The Viking Chokeberry has multiple seasons of ornamental characteristics. Starting with the light white flowers in May followed by dark, glossy leaves and crowned by a dynamite fall color show of purples, orange and scarlet. The Viking is actually used as an orchard fruit in Europe. This plant is self-fertile so each plant will have the large fruit set typical of this variety. These edible fruits are high in Vitamin C, iodine and antioxidants and are used stewed, dried or as juice. Mature size is around 5' wide and tall.

Planting & Care for Deciduous Shrub – Aronia-Chokeberry

Preparation

  • This plant is self-fertile so each plant will have the large fruit set typical of this variety.
  • Mature size is around 5' wide and tall.
  • Mature growth is around 3-6' tall and 4-7' 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. 
  • Grow Bags - Remove bag by using a utility knife to slit up the side and peel off the fabric exposing the soil and roots. Plant the root ball just like you would a container plant. No trimming of roots is necessary for grow bags.

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 Grow Bags

  • Plant grow bags in spring or fall.
  • 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.
  • Grow Bags - Although it is not essential for grow bags 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 Viking Chokeberry has multiple seasons of ornamental characteristics.
  • Starting with the light white flowers in May followed by dark, glossy leaves and crowned by a dynamite fall color show of purples, orange and scarlet.
  • The Viking is actually used as an orchard fruit in Europe.
  • This plant is self-fertile so each plant will have the large fruit set typical of this variety.
  • These edible fruits are high in Vitamin C, iodine and antioxidants and are used stewed, dried or as juice.
  • Mature size is around 5' wide and tall.
  • 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.

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

 

How do we dig our bare root plants?

ItemApprox Weight (lbs.)Approx Base Dimensions (diameter)Approx Height
#7 Grow Bag** 35-50 14-16" 5-8'
#10 Grow Bag** 55-70 18" 6-8'
#15 Grow Bag** 65-80 22" 6-10'
#20 Grow Bag** 75-100 24" 8-12'
1 1/4" B&B** 250-500 22" for single stems, 28" for multiple stems  8-11'
1 1/2" B&B** 325-600 24" for single stems, 30" for multiple stems  10-12'
2" B&B** 500-700 28" for single stems, 32" for multiple stems 10-14'
2 1/2" B&B** 600-1000 30" for single stems, 36" for multiple stems 10-15'
3" B&B** 850-1000 34"-36"  12-16'
3 1/2" B&B** 1000 36"  12-18'
10' B&B** 250 22"  10'
12' B&B** 325 24"  12'
14' B&B** 500 28" 14'
16' B&B** 600 30"  16'
2' B&B** 50 12-16"  2'
3' B&B** 60-250 16-22"  3'
4' B&B** 250 22-24" 4'
5' B&B** 325 22-24"  5'
6' B&B** 150-325 16-24" 6'
7' B&B** 500-700 28-32"  7'
8' B&B** 600-700 14-30"  8'
9' B&B** 700 32"  9'
#3 container* Less than 35  10" 10" 
#5 container** 40 11" 10.5" 
#7 container** 60 14" 12" 
#10 container** 80 14" 14 
#20 container** 160 19.5" 17" 
Bare Root* varies, but always lighter no soil on roots varies depending on item

*#1 - #3 containers and bare root are the only items that can be shipped FedEx and/or by our delivery trucks (see below for more information regarding pick-up and local delivery. 

**Any items over 100 Ibs., #5 - #20 containers or B&B can only be delivered by our trucks due to FedEx shipping weight and size restrictions. Our trusted trucks only deliver around a 100 miles radius from our corporate office in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Any item you order can be picked-up at our corporate office in Waterloo, Wisconsin or our new retail garden center Winterland Nursery for free (bare root orders cannot be picked up at Winterland due to lack of bare root coolers). See our estimated delivery schedule here

Growing Zones: 3-8

Bloom Time: May
Color: Green, Orange, Purple, Red, White
Plant Size: 5' tall x 5' wide
Flower Color: White
Fall Color: Purple, orange, red
Fruit: Purple-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: No

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