Also known as the Mayday tree, European bird cherry tree (Prunus padus) is an ornamental tree from northern Europe and Asia that has escaped cultivation and now dominates much of the forest along Chester and Campbell Creeks. The tree produces prolific seeds, which are spread to new areas by birds. The tree also spreads vegetatively (cut branches and roots will sprout) and trees that are cut down will actively sucker from their stumps and roots.


European bird cherry trees invade new forested areas and crowd out native shrubs and trees, such as willow and birch that moose and other animals depend on for food. Several areas of the Chester Creek greenbelt are dense, single species monocultures of bird cherry and this tree is rapidly spreading both in the Chester Creek greenbelt and to new areas of the Anchorage bowl.


In 2015 mature, fruit producing European bird cherry trees were treated via basal bark spray (lower portions of their bark were sprayed with a backpack sprayer) with Garlon 4 Ultra. Trees were left to die in place. Hazard and unsightly trees were planned for removal. Spruce and other native species were planted in the fall of 2015.


To learn more about this invasive tree and what you can do to help across Anchorage, please click on the links below.




2015 Invasive Mayday Tree Control Presentation (7MB size PowerPoint file)


2015 Invasive Mayday Tree Control Presentation PDF (5MB size file)


2015 Invasive European bird cherry (Mayday tree) Control Project Handout






Community Councils Center


Community Patrols


Chugiak Eagle River Advisory Board


Federation of Community Councils