Chokecherry vs Chokeberry vs European Buckthorn

(Question)

I am trying to identify a shrub (now about 10 ft tall) in my garden. I suspect that it may be the invasive Buckthorn but find the info online a bit confusing as all three appear similar. I have seen shrubs like mine in abundance along the Humber River (south of bloor), in High Park and at Colonel Sam Smith Park which adds to my confusion. What key elements should I be looking at to help with a correct ID. It is a pretty shrub which provides some privacy from a neighbour. However, I do not want to encourage a potentially harmful invasive species. I can take photos of key identifying features (once I know what to look for) if this would help.
With sincere thanks.

 

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners about a shrub identification. The three sites listed below provide good photos and text comparing the three shrubs, and defining the special characteristics of each which should help you determine if your shrub in question is invasive.

http://aroniainamerica.blogspot.ca/2011/03/is-it-chokeberry-or-chokecherry.html

https://www.google.ca/search?q=chokecherry+vs+buckthorn&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjcgujyjonWAhVC5YMKHWx0DdgQsAQIag&biw=1060&bih=882

http://www.restoringthelandscape.com/2010/10/invasive-buckthorn-and-native-look.html

We wish you well in your identification quest.