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Wild black cherry

Closeup image of black cherry tree leaves and glossy dark fruits

Wild black cherry

TreeNA graphic of black cherry tree showing cherries, flowers and tree shape

About the black cherry tree

Black cherry, wild black cherry - Prunus serotina

Identification: Black cherry trees are recognizable year-round by dark, scaly bark that flips up on the edges in mature trees, often characterized as a "burnt potato chip" texture. White flowers grow in long clusters, attracting many species of pollinating insects. Trees produce pea-sized, bitter cherry fruits. Leaves are pointed ovals with fine serrations, turning from summer green to red and yellow in autumn. 

Height: 50-85 feet 

Preferences: Full sun to partial sun. Hardiness zones 3-9. Susceptible to ice damage.

Wildlife value: Wild black cherry trees support pollinator insects including beetles, flies and bees. Their fruits are eaten by mammals such as foxes, mice, squirrels and bears. Fruits are also eaten and spread by songbirds.

Uses: The reddish wood of large, high-quality black cherry trees is used for producing furniture and veneer.