Merlot Mayday

Prunus padus 'Merlot'

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Merlot Mayday (Prunus padus 'Merlot') at Weston Nurseries

Merlot Mayday flowers

Merlot Mayday flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  30 feet

Spread:  25 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  3b

Other Names:  European Bird Cherry, Common Bird Cherry


An eye catching medium sized accent tree featuring long racemes of white flowers in spring followed by tiny bitter fruit, attractive to birds; leaves emerge green and mature to burgundy; best in full sun, can be susceptible to black-knot

Ornamental Features

Merlot Mayday features showy racemes of fragrant white flowers hanging below the branches in mid spring before the leaves. It has burgundy deciduous foliage which emerges green in spring. The pointy leaves do not develop any appreciable fall color. The dark red fruits are held in clusters in late summer. The smooth brown bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Merlot Mayday is a deciduous tree with a shapely oval form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This tree will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Disease

Merlot Mayday is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Merlot Mayday will grow to be about 30 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 25 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Shade 
Flowers  Fruit  Bark  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features