Black cherry

Silhouette - black cherry
  • Latin name: Prunus serotina Ehrh.
  • French name: Cerisier tardif
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 24764
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf with detail of elongated, incurved teeth - black cherry

Form

  • Lance-shaped, gradually tapering to both ends
  • Sharp-pointed, thick and leathery
  • A narrow mat of fine hairs along each side of the basal part of the midvein on lower surface

Length

  • 5–15 cm

Colour

  • Upper surface shiny bright green
  • Lower surface paler
  • Hairs brown

Margin

  • Teeth distinctly elongated with a sharp incurved tip resembling a bird’s beak

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - black cherry

Form

  • Blunt, diverging slightly from the twig
  • About 10 scales

Length

  • 3–4 mm

Colour

  • Reddish-brown
  • Scales brown with darker tips and green bases

Twigs

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - black cherry

Form

  • Slender

Colour

  • Reddish-brown

Flowers

Form

  • In elongated loose clusters at the end of new short leafy shoots

Length

  • 10–15 cm
  • Flower stalk 5 mm

Structure

  • Synoecious

Floral timing

  • As the leaves reach full size

Fruits

  • Fruit on stalk (left); view of large calyx (right) - black cherry

Form

  • In elongated drooping clusters of 6–12 fruits
  • Astringent but edible
  • Lower whorl of flower calyx retained at the base of each fruit

Width

  • 8–10 mm

Colour

  • Dark reddish-black

Timing

  • Ripen in August or early September

Bark

Form

  • Smooth on young trees
  • Lenticels conspicuous, horizontal, dash-like
  • With age separating into square scales, curved outward at their vertical edges; lenticels still visible

Colour

  • Very dark reddish-brown to blackish
  • Lenticels greyish
  • Scales reddish-brown on the inner surface

Wood

Texture

  • Moderately heavy, hard, strong
  • Decorative, easy to work

Morphology

  • Semi-ring porous
  • Pores visible with a hand lens
  • Rays and annual rings visible to the naked eye

Uses

  • Furniture-making

Size

Height

  • To 22 m

Diameter

  • To 60 cm

Maximum age

  • 150 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - black cherry

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Sinuous with little taper
  • Branches arching with drooping tips

Root system

  • Shallow, wide-spreading
  • Seedling produces a taproot in the 1st year

Habitat

Site

  • Wide variety of soils

Light tolerance

  • Intolerant of shade

Associated species

  • Mixed with other broadleaf species, such as sugar maple, white ash, basswood, yellow birch, white oak, shagbark hickory and tulip-tree

Range

Nova Scotia eastward through southern Quebec and southern Ontario

Insects and diseases

Insects and diseases that are found most frequently and/or that cause the most damage in our Canadian forests.

Photos
  • Black cherry
  • Black cherry
  • Black cherry
  • Black cherry
  • Black cherry
  • Black cherry
  • Black cherry
  • Black cherry
Distribution map
Distribution map - black cherry
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