Cherry trees are part of the Prunus family. Unlike many of their plum tree cousins, cherry trees do not usually have thorns. One cherry species, however, does possess small thorns. The Black Cherry, or Prunus serotina, includes thorns and its origins, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension.
Climate & Growth
Black cherry trees are found all over america and Canada, although they are indigenous to eastern North America. They thrive in temperate states and grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3B to 9A. The trees are classified as fast-growing and can reach maximum heights of approximately 90 feet, with maximum widths of approximately 50 feet.
Appearance & Notable Characteristics
Black cherry trees are needed due to their colorful fall foliage. A single tree might include fall shades of orange, yellow and red. The dark green, shiny leaves, with their serrated edges, are both appealing in the summertime, and the fragrant clusters of hanging white flowers are showy in the spring. Black cherry trees possess rough, grayish-brown bark and also produce small, edible berries in the summer.
Pests & Problems
Black cherry trees are resistant to many diseases and insects, with two important exceptions. The first is verticillium wilt, which is a disease that resides in the ground. It may kill young trees and sections of old, more established trees. The second problem related to P. serotina is the simple fact that the trees are a favored habitat of the eastern tent caterpillar, that may infest the tree and cover it using unsightly webs.
Birds love P. serotina berries, so they will flock to your own tree at the summertime. If you enjoy birdwatching, you might like this, however, the birds may even leave a mess at the form of cherry pits, dropped cherries — that stain concrete — and waste solutions. In addition they have shallow roots that could be easily damaged if something heavy is set on the region under or simply past the tree canopy. These shallow roots may also uproot sidewalks and asphalt. Finally, since the trees can rapidly grow quite big, they aren’t usually suggested for home landscapes.