The western sand cherry (Prunus besseyi) is a small, deciduous, flowering shrub that grows 4 to 6 feet tall and maintains a rounded shape throughout its lifespan. Hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness zones 3 to 6, western sand cherry shrubs thrive in a variety of soils, and grow well in higher elevations. Spring brings a plethora of delicate white petals that spread their perfume, making way for grayish-green glossy leaves that will turn shades of red and orange. In the summer, the western sand cherry shrub bears sweet half-inch fruit that attracts local birds and other assorted wildlife.
Give newly planted shrubs a watering at least once per week. Allow hose to run at low pressure at the base of the plant for 5 to 10 minutes each time. Water established shrubs twice a month during the summer.
Apply fertilizer once a year in early spring or late fall and at a rate of 4 oz. per each foot of the shrub's height. Follow manufacturer's directions with regards to the application and dosage.
Apply mulch in early spring at a depth of 3 to 4 inches around the circumference of the shrub, making sure to leave the trunk and branches uncovered. Apply a fresh layer of mulch in late fall or early winter for added protection against severe cold.
Prune sand cherry shrubs in the spring after flowering is finished. Remove any dead wood or crossed branches by cutting off near the base of the branch. If the shrubs should become overgrown, thinning out the largest and oldest canes can restore appearance and encourage new, healthy growth.
Apply commercial animal repellent according to manufacturer's directions before winter to protect against damage during winter months. Repellents come in liquid, spray or granular form, and may need repeated applications during the winter months to remain effective.