Mayday trees, or European bird cherry trees, are invading the Anchorage area. They are spreading along our creeks and waterways.
The foliage contains cyanide. This can affect moose by making them sick. Moose prefer native plants but these are shaded out by the Mayday trees. Insect populations that normally inhabit the foliage along streams decrease, which could mean less food for salmon. Birds will be spreading the black cherry seeds to other creeks later in the summer.
I spent Saturday morning eradicating Mayday trees from a small tributary to Chester Creek. There were 100 of us on the Weed Smackdown. We hardly made a dent in the Mayday infestation.
If you have a tree with white flowers in your yard this week, you probably have a Mayday. Lowe’s and other Anchorage stores are still selling Maydays. Please ask them to stop, and consider eliminating this tree from your property. The muni and state DOT also need to remove these trees.
— Pixie Siebe