Latin Name: Prunus besseyi
Native Range: Canada and the Northern United States
Seed Source: Seed production orchard near Indian Head, Saskatchewan.
Height and Spread: 1.5m x 1.5m
Overview: 'Mackintosh' Western Sand Cherry cherry is an excellent choice for agroforestry planting in cold temperate regions. This seed strain was selected because of its consistent production of large yields of black cherries. It is named for Angus Mackintosh, Tree Planting Inspector at the Indian Head Forest Nursery Station from 1904 to 1916.
Fruits: Black fruit borne in clusters, 12-15mm across.
Average number of seeds/packet: 110
SEED TREATMENT / SOWING
Stratification: Soak seeds for 48 hours then stratify in moist sand (10 percent moisture) for 90 days at 5°C.
Ideal sowing time: Non-pretreated seed outdoors in September (will germinate the following spring) or stratified seed in spring.
Sowing instructions: Outdoor seedbed - Sow 2 cm deep and 50 seeds/meter; Greenhouse - sow 3 seeds per cell 1 cm deep.
Growing conditions: Western sand cherry will thrive under just about every condition imaginable, except for heavy shade.
'Mackintosh' Western Sandcherry is known for its unique, leathery grey-green foliage and beautiful white blossoms. It is a popular ornamental shrub in parks and front yards. Both you and the wildlife will love its edible small dark red to purple cherries. Fruit can be astringent but is great for jams, jellies and pies. Extremely winter hardy. Many people graft plum and cherry varieties to Western Sand Cherry and use it as rootstock. It is also popular to graft hardy apricots too.