Gyekis Forest Management

  Black Cherry
   Economic Value
   Growing Conditions
   Planting Instructions

Black Cherry Growing Conditions

Black cherry (Prunus serotina) is a deciduous, single-stemmed tree. In forest conditions it typically has a large, straight branch-fee trunk and narrow crown. In openings it tends to have a shorter trunk and a broad, irregular crown. In the eastern USA, typical black cherry (var. serotina) may reach 125 feet (38 meters) in height and 4 feet (1.2 meter) in diameter.

It is a very adaptable tree, often found colonizing old fields, growing to canopy height in young and mid-aged forests, or winding its way up through the understory of old mature forests.

natural range of black cherry
Natural range of black cherry.

Black cherry grows on a variety of soil types, textures, and drainages, including valleys, bottomlands, middle slopes and high elevations. In young and middle-aged forests, black cherry can grow arrow-straight and very tall. It is a shade-intolerant species which grows rapidly in open land, outgrowing most other hardwood and softwood species. Its clusters of small, dark purple cherries are an important source of food for wildlife, including wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, bear, raccoons, and numerous other mammals and birds.

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