|About the Black Cherry - Prunus serotina : |
The Black Cherry tree, Prunus serotina, is native to eastern North America, Mexico and Central America. It typically occurs in both lowland and upland woods and along streams. It is also known as a wild cherry or wild rum cherry tree. It is one of the largest of the cherries, typically growing to 50-80’ tall with a narrow-columnar to rounded crown. This deciduous tree is most noted for its profuse spring bloom. Their fragrant white flowers in slender pendulous clusters appear with the spring foliage. The flowers are followed by drooping clusters of small red cherries that ripen in late summer.
Black Cherry trees produce fruit that are bitter and inedible fresh off the tree, but the fruit can be used to make jams and jellies. Fruits have also been used to flavor certain liquors such as brandy and whiskey. The glossy green leaves turns to attractive shades of yellow and rose in fall. Mature trees develop dark scaly bark. Bark, roots and leaves contain concentrations of toxic cyanogenic compounds, hence the noticeable bitter almond aroma of the inner bark. The Black Cherry tree produces hard, reddish-brown wood that takes a fine polish and is commercially valued for use in a large number of products such as furniture, veneers, cabinets, interior paneling, gun stocks, instrument/tool handles and musical instruments.